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How to make networking work for you

Networking advice to further your career


© Linkedin

A quick Google search will tell you about relevant networking events in your industry. Sometimes you'll find that there are conferences, or just a group of like-minded people who meet up in a pub every now and again. The ever-popular is a good place to start. Remember, some events will be industry specific, but you'll also find some that help you get back to work after having a child, or events targeted for female entrepreneurs.

Twitter is without a doubt the easiest way to meet like minded people, even if you think it's just for the self-absorbed. The PR and media industries use it daily. It's part of their job nowadays. You can 'follow' who you want to but also use the search options to find out who is talking about your interests. They're the people you want to get to know. I've actually been offered work through Twitter, and more recently people have been given formal job offers through the site as well. It's changing the way we work so don't dismiss it just because other people in your office haven't caught on yet.

Linkedin is another option. It's used as a professional network and nothing more so if that suits you then give it a shot.  The idea is that you link to people you work with, so for the freelancers and multi-taskers among you it could be a goldmine. Your contacts can recommend you for jobs and introduce you to people. Obviously the more contacts you have, the more likely you are to be noticed. That's the problem with online networking; it can be a bit like a popularity contest.

You don't have to use every online network there is (otherwise you'd have no time to do your job) but find one that suits you and you'll start to see a difference. You can use Facebook, as that's a good source for events, but most people choose to keep their profiles private so it's not always brilliant for professional networking. Use it as a resource for finding events in real life.


Sian Meades
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