You may have come across the concept of networking across various chapters in your professional or personal journey.

Whether you’re starting your professional career, recently graduated from college or exploring a new industry, networking is key. However, networking can also seem overwhelming. But, here’s a food for thought – instead of viewing the networking opportunities as a difficult task, embrace the situation and view the opportunities as your professional development.

Below are some tips that will help you step out of your comfort zone and help you build your professional network:

  1. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date: LinkedIn has changed the networking landscape online. It allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, follow inspirational leaders and showcase your profile in the market. It’s a great space to connect with someone from the industry. Find similarities in their educational and professional background that will help you grow your skills. Make sure your skills, educational and professional experience, references, photo and other details are updated.
  2. Pursue volunteering opportunities: Along with connecting with people with shared professional interests, indulge in volunteering activities with a charity or an NGO that you may feel passionate about. Volunteer work often leads to forming deeper connections and isn’t only limited to your career interests.
  3. Ask for help: You will be surprised to find out how easy it is to build your network through your family, friends and existing network. Utilise your existing connections to find people who may be in the same boat as you or have been in your shoes. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste.
  4. Stay up to date with your industry: Each industry is evolving at a fast pace and it’s important to keep yourself updated with the growing trends. There are easily accessible online courses that will help up-skill yourself. We’re also living in a time where there are plenty of events being held virtually. Start attending events and follow key industry leaders. Observe the kind of trends they predict and the problems they are solving. This will help you expand your knowledge base.

Growing your network might not be an easy task. But, it is worth putting in the handwork to develop your professional and communication skills.