While one of the more daunting career development exercises, networking is a great way to connect with people in your industry and foster relationships that can open doors for you in the future.
And in competitive industries such as construction and property, effective networking will be advantageous to you when seeking new opportunities.
So, how can you network to accelerate your career? We’ve listed a few suggestions for you below.
Network within your current company and on-site:
When people think of networking, they often overlook the importance of networking within their current company. Not only does it put you on the radar to be considered for internal promotions, but you can also build a strong network of referrals to reach out to when looking for new opportunities outside of your current company.
So, if you have a good relationship with your manager, continue to build on it! On top of that, identify other leaders in your business that would be beneficial to connect with – and work to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Use social occasions at work to talk with colleagues that you don’t regularly cross paths with. Take an interest in what other people are doing in the business and use that interaction as an opportunity to learn more about how your work fits into the bigger picture.
Broadening your relationships in the workplace and gaining a deeper understanding of what others are doing provides a solid foundation for you to advance in your career, whether that be in your current company or not.
Attend industry events:
You can never have too many industry contacts!
So on top of networking internally, branch out beyond your company walls and start attending industry networking events. The Australian construction and property sector have an abundance of industry bodies. So you won’t struggle to find one that suits your interest – or career ambitions. The social nature of these occasions also makes them a perfect way to connect with people in your industry in a light-hearted atmosphere with less hierarchical constraints.
But if the idea of hovering around the food table trying to catch the attention of a stranger to start a conversation with makes your palms sweaty, consider taking a work colleague with you to help break the ice. Like anything, practice makes perfect, the more events you attend, the more natural the environment will become to you.
A quick rundown of some construction and property industry bodies in Australia is below:
- Australian Shop & Office Fitting Industry Association.
- Australian Construction Industry Forum.
- Master Builders Queensland.
- Women in Design & Construction.
Get active online:
The popularity of online professional networking sites like LinkedIn continues to grow each year. And with thousands of potential connections, job advertisements and communities available to you on these platforms – it’s no wonder why.
On top of building new connections and reconnecting with old ones, LinkedIn’s group feature is a great way to join communities of professionals with similar interests or career ambitions to you. Just a quick search on LinkedIn brings up thousands of groups devoted to the construction and property industry. Most of which discuss topics such as current job opportunities, industry trends and career advice. By adding to, or starting your own conversations in these groups, you’re opening yourself up to connect with other people in your industry.
Should you wish to join, we run our own LinkedIn Group called Construction People Australia. In this group, we keep our members in the know of market updates and jobs we’re resourcing for.
As an aside, to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile make sure it’s up to date, optimised for best search results (think about what keywords people would search for you with) and represents your best professional persona.
While making new industry connections is great, don’t forget to develop those connections. Exchanging business cards with someone at an industry event and never speaking to them again doesn’t achieve a whole lot. If you’re serious about networking and what it can do for your career, work to make those interactions ongoing relationships.
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