3 Strategies IT Professionals Should Use to Successfully Network

Report: 80% of jobs today are landed through networking.

Networking can be a terrifying prospect for many business people. The thought of striking up an unsolicited (and in some cases unwanted) conversation with the hopes of building a professional relationship with a stranger can cause great anxiety. It can be daunting, to say the least. But the upside can have a significant impact for those that want an upward career path – this is especially true when looking for a new job. If you’re a skeptic compelled only by facts then the recent ABC news report, may be enough to reconsider the importance as  80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. This percentage of networkers represents smart jobseekers who understand that looking for and finding work takes…hard work.

Business networking, with both reputable recruiters and employees from various companies, gives you not only a competitive advantage when openings occur, but it’s also an opportunity to interact with other professionals, learning about their businesses, and sharing information about your work. The more people you network with, the wider your pool of contacts and associates will be. But don’t look at networking from a purely self-centric perspective.  It’s also an opportunity for you to give back—helping people in your network with problems outside of your expertise, or to make a valuable referral that will frequently leave a memorable impact.  However, building a strong professional network doesn’t happen overnight, and these relationships are useful for more than just job search assistance. Your network can provide much needed guidance, support and wisdom.

So how do you go about creating a network that will actually benefit your career?  The following are 5 strategies to help build a successful group that will help you now, and in the future:

  1. Join a Professional Association

Associations are a great way of meeting new people with whom you have something (professionally) in common. Associations exist for almost every position and every industry, so seek out those that pertain specifically to the IT industry. You want to make sure the group is big enough to really give you a wide array of professionals to get to know. If it’s too small, or the people aren’t what you’re looking for, it may not be worth the investment and time expended. Once you’ve found an association that works for you, be sure to regularly attend meetings, schedule one-on one’s to really get to know your peers, and participate to the fullest extent.

  1. Meet Professionals Who Can Help Grow Your Business

You will eventually meet people who have grown their business and are looking for an opportunity to meet others from within the industry. These business professionals can offer useful advice, help you solve nagging problems, or even invest capital to help you from a career perspective or perhaps grow your own company. Networking gives you the opportunity to meet people who have experience in growing and operating businesses.

  1. Meet Professionals That You Can Help

Not only will you find people who can professionally help you, you also possess the knowledge and skills that can help others in your industry. In the course of networking, not only may you find new customers or new job openings, you will have opportunities to guide others with your expertise. It is important to remember productive networking is about both giving and receiving. While many individuals may not need your services or expertise at the present time, they may know someone else who does. By being friendly and helpful to others during your conversations, you may inadvertently be the one who benefits as well!

All of these strategies require meeting others in person, so don’t be shy! Sure it’s not the easiest thing to do, but remember, the other professionals that you are meeting with are there for the same exact reason. And there is no better way to make a long lasting and successful impression on someone than meeting in person with a smile and a handshake!

Keep in mind that 80% of today’s jobs are found through networking, so why not network with us at CultureFit . We have an extensive network of employers in the IT industry that may have that perfect job you’ve been looking for. CultureFit is a full service Technology Staffing and recruitment firm for corporate cultures that value organizational fit, employee satisfaction, and an extremely high level of technical IT skills.