Why everyone needs a professional network

A free video tutorial from PracticalGrowth
Practical, applicable courses for career growth
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How to Build your Professional Network

Learn how to build your professional network, raise your profile, and get noticed!

55:22 of on-demand video • Updated July 2020

  • Build your first relationships and start your network
  • Develop the right skills to talk and interact with people
  • Look beyond your company to evolve your skills, career, and relationships in your industry
  • Raise your profile and take leadership roles at work
  • Grow your influence using tools and platforms online
English [Auto] Hey guys welcome back and welcome to the first lecture of the course. So we're here today to talk about how to build your professional network. And if you could imagine a network of people that you could connect with who would they be. Think about it. Whatever your job or interests are. Who are those people you wish you could be connected to like you know you could text them right now and say hey I need some advice. Maybe it's a world famous entrepreneur or a celebrity you idolize or maybe it's just really really smart talented people you follow within your industry. Well whether you want to be first with Bono or Beyonce the better question is What do you hope to gain by connecting with these people. In other words what's your goal in your professional life. Everyone's journey is a unique one. Careers are very often a long and winding road for many people just starting out. It's not always clear what they want to focus on or accomplish and even if you have a strong idea it's not always clear where you'll get the opportunity. If you establish yourself in a good job Well you've probably got stability and security. And the question is will you always Maybe you want to improve your skills or find something else to do altogether. And if you're older and have a long career behind you while you're probably looking at new technology new industries and younger people with newer skills wondering where exactly do I fit in and how. Well regardless of what you do what industry or and or how old you are. Good talented people like yourself are always in demand but you may find that getting a job or opportunity isn't always about how great you are. Many times unfortunately it's about who you know and this is why everyone needs a professional network. If you have a network of people who you know and trusts Well you could use their connections advice and experience to your own professional advantage. And by the way they'll look to you for the same exact reason. When people work together their everyday interactions can become friendships that last years or even turn into partnerships within teams or new ventures. When you moved to new jobs in parts of the world you'll meet new people who offer new experiences and know how helping to broaden your own professional outlook. Ideally at every stop along that long and winding career road you'll meet new interesting people worth connecting with. It'll begin with your first job your boss your team. People in other departments and leaders in the company but as your career grows so will your network. You'll meet new colleagues executives customers followers teachers and students and a whole lot more. So by developing your own networking skills you can get valuable benefits for years to come. The more people you meet Well the broader your experience making connections within your company is a great way to build your first network and then learn how your industry works and beyond your team and your company walls you'll find more people who can expand your thinking providing new ideas and opportunities to grow. The more people you know well the more opportunities you'll find new projects responsibilities and jobs don't just magically fall in anyone's lap by connecting with people. You'll get more exposure and chances where you can share your interests and use your skills to raise your profile and advance your career. Now the more people who follow you well than the more influence you're going to have. If you're seeking more visibility and responsibility in your job well you'll need to get the attention of decision makers and press them and earn their trust. Only then can you begin to shape the world around you. Get your opinions heard. Provide direction for a team. Maybe even lead. Or start your own company. Now it's not always easy to build a network because while it requires you putting yourself out there many people are private. I prefer listening to talking. They don't like social media or they find the process of meeting people pretty exhausting and it sounds like you well guess what. You're not the only one but there are many ways to connect whether you're an outgoing gregarious extrovert or simply prefer more solo environments. Ultimately a professional network can provide safety and security. Think about times and you could have used someone to help you out professionally. Have you ever had a question you wish someone can answer like how to do something or solve a problem. Or maybe you want to get feedback on something you created. Professional networks are full of people you can trust with well-qualified opinions and experience but most importantly if you've ever been laid off quit or been fired from your job well you know how reassuring the network can be especially if they have info or access to jobs that would be a good fit. I know that developing a professional network might sound like a lot of work but it's really not within the context of your own job. Many of the best practices and tactics I'll share with you in a series of lectures will help you become a better employee. You practice the skills every day. You'll find you don't need to work as hard connecting with people because they'll want to connect with you instead. If you're ready for that. All right guys. See you in the next lecture.