Part 3 of The Organized Professional series…
Building Your Reputation … a 101 guide
Networking is an important and often overlooked part of establishing yourself in your chosen career.
Being good at what you do, even being the best, also is coupled by establishing yourself in a variety of circles as approachable and willing to be worked with.
There are many ways to approach networking so that you build your reputation and your brand, online and in person. Here are a few ways to rock the online and in-person networking challenges.
Let’s talk a little bit about the online sphere.
From Facebook to Linkedin there are many sites out there to promote networking. Be sure you are utilizing it to the utmost.
- Remember you don’t have to be on them all!
- Make your profile/page clear about who you are. Most sites designed for social networking. Use the templates.
- Include the name you want to be known as.
- Your current work experience
- Your desired career
- Your bio
- The relevant projects and volunteer efforts you perform.
- Post your content
- Comment on other people’s content and share what resonates with you.
- If someone really inspires you or you feel like you relate to that topic, let them know. Show you are a real person behind that keyboard.
- Join communities online and actively participate. This helps you to make sure they can connect the name with the knowledge, ideas, and support.
- Schedule your online networking time so that you don’t spend too much time doing it. 30 mins every other day should be enough unless you are having actual conversations with people, but then, why not give them your contact info so you can meet up occasionally.
- Scan local events that are coming up and write them down in your planner so that you can plan to attend if your schedule allows.
The last two points are important. They are establishing the goals of taking online interactions into actionable real life meetings. These meetings can result in mentors, partners, and referrals, even life-long friendships.
Building Your Social Network
You don’t have to go to networking events all the time, you just have to learn to make the most out of them.
- Experiment with the many local networking groups in your area by doing research and attending. Weed out the ones that won’t give you any real Rate Of Return.
- Don’t do more than 1 per week. Even that is too much for me, but in the beginning, it can help you learn to navigate the language and learn more about interpersonal communication.
- Schedule all of your events. Make sure you actually have time to go and enjoy your time.
- Be cognizant of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. This matters because you may find yourself drained of energy and not capable of keeping up with your other responsibilities. I myself am an introvert that has severe social anxieties and phobias. I can still be social because I am aware of my quirks and what is needed to maintain my social calendar and my work related responsibilities.
- You don’t have to ask everyone for their card. Talk to people and get to know what they do and their interest. You will get to know
- Schedule follow-up time. Whether a phone call, an email, or schedule a one-on-one time, don’t forget this step.
In person, events can also come in a variety.
- Happy hour
- Volunteer events
It is important for you to note the type of event so that you can be prepared for the setting.