There is strategy, process and know how required to build the right relationships to boost your career.

But what are the vital elements of networking that, women, especially must know? What are the essential knowledge elements that will help us women excel at networking? I have listed 5 expert tips that EVERY WOMAN must know to crush the networking game. Check on them below

Create a networking strategy
No more going for events just for the sake of it. It’s time to get strategic! Why? Because research suggests that women, especially, find it hard to build purposeful networks. We find it easier to connect with people who are similar to us. The downside to this is since less and less women hit the highest rung of the career ladder, it means women have to work harder to find and build vital relationships for their career success. So if you are sitting down thinking that the right relationships will just fall into your laps, statistically speaking, you may be waiting a very long time. You need to intentionally build the relationships you need to succeed in the work place.

Include men in your network
If you want to succeed, you need to co-opt men. Men are not the enemy. You should ensure your network is diverse, broad and dynamic and men form a vital role in making this happen. Why? Well, men can add useful dynamics and career advice to your overall career trajectory, which women may typically miss. They can also act as great mentors and career sponsors. But which men? This is where strategy comes in. Find influential people (women and MEN) in your workplace, organization and/or sector who have achieved reputable success in an area in which you are interested in developing in, then build relationships with them

Go where the people who have achieved what you want to achieve go
Want to scale your network and connect with influential people in your sector? Then go where they go. Go for the same conferences they attend. Join the same professional associations. Read the same types of articles and industry magazines they read. If your company won’t pay for it, use your hard earned cash and attend the same international conferences that they attend and make it a priority to connect with a few of them and follow up later. The relationships you make will be yours to keep, forever, after all.

Networking, the right way, makes you visible
Have you ever asked yourself this question, “outside my office who knows about me and the work I do”? That question might not sound like much now until when you want to change jobs, switch sectors or need to know about great job opportunities. Suddenly you wish you knew the HR manager in xandx company, but then it’s a bit late, you are already in the desperate zone and need something quick. With strategic networking you should start building bridges before you need them.

You need to build a personal brand as you network
It’s good to meet and connect with new people but you know what’s even better? When people know, like and trust you, too! After all, what good is it knowing Temitope Abdul the Head of Corporate Communications for the biggest multinational company in Nigeria, if she cant remember you or what you are about? Personal branding here isn’t about packaging or being false, it’s about knowing the value you bring to an organization as a professional and understanding how to communicate that value to others. Knowing how to introduce yourself in a way that demonstrates and articulates clearly what you do as well as using social media intentionally are just some of the ways you can create and build your professional brand.

Bonus tip

Network with your peers.

When the word networking comes up, people automatically look up. It seems networking only refers to making connections with VIPs and well placed executives. You only shoot yourself in the foot, when you do this. Your peers hold vital information and access opportunities that you need, they can also form part of your inner circle and can vouch for you when the need arises.

Have a fab week everyone!

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