Your Network is Your Net Worth

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Your Network is Your Net Worth

By Briana Elmore

All relationships hold value. From your personal to professional relationships, your commitment to building quality connections and taking the correct approach to your relationships that you build is a major contribution in your investment in your future. In regard to your success in your career, your networking and relationship building capabilities can play a huge role in the trajectory of your career.

As the saying goes, “It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.” Sometimes, the people who you have in your network can open up your horizon to new possibilities and opportunities that you alone could not imagine. You and the grind you have will surely open doors but good connections and positive professional relationship building will assist you in going to new heights.

Here are ways to build and maintain a great professional Network:

Research the different organizations geared towards your profession.

There are many different resource and networking groups for various professions. It’s important to have a wide variety in your network, there are many career-oriented groups that bring young professionals in a certain field together to connect. These groups can introduce you to potential mentors, friends, or future collaborators. There are also opportunities to deepen your knowledge in professional-oriented organizations. As Black Twenty Somethins, these are a good move to get acclimated to your city.

Put yourself out there in professional settings.

Sign up for different email newsletters and follow social media pages dedicated to your professional development. This will allow you to learn about local events in your area that you can attend and meet other professionals in your field. These events are so helpful to your confidence in your profession. They expose you to people who are establishing and to individuals who are already established in similar career paths. Professional events assist you in figuring out the different ways you can progress in your career.

Always have professional business cards.

In life, you can make a connection with other professionals very quickly. You want to stay prepared at all times to make a good first impression that will hopefully lead to another person in your professional network. For a low cost at your local print shop, you can get yourself some unique and personable business cards. With your own business cards, you can give others the opportunity to learn about you and contact you in the future.  

Be genuine. Be yourself.

As an individual, you are a brand. It is important to be true to yourself as you build your professional brand. You may not get to be as laid back as you are at the family cook out, but it is important to assert yourself authentically as you network. Authenticity is a means to show your integrity. You will always grow and make your mark if you portray yourself as your true self.

Nurture your professional connections.

Once you make connections, make sure that you follow up to solidify your network growth. It is a good send a follow up email to individuals that you encounter to remind them of who you are and encourage growth in that connection. Try to establish a professional relationship that you are able to actively learn from in order to be your best in your career. Ideally, you can establish a connection that you can openly communicate with the other party.

Finding the right tribe of professionals is not always easy, but it is more than worth the effort. A good network will help you in your journey to make an impact in your career. Open yourself up to new connections and new opportunities that come with a growing network!