Looking to improve your professional network inside and outside your company? These three tips from executive career coach Ford Meyers will help you decide what you should do, what you may want to do and what you should never do.
Always network with business peers and others by making genuine personal connections--even if you use technology (email, texting or social media) to make first contact. There is still no substitute for socializing.
If networking makes you uncomfortable, get some coaching and support that will improve your skills and help you get comfortable with this vital discipline. Commit to mastering the process so you can use continuous networking as a primary strategy for career building.
Sometimes attend senior-level workshops, classes or webinars that are more business-oriented and less technical. This will make you a better leader with broader management skills, and it will help you connect with influential networking partners.
Join prestigious professional organizations and associations and assume leadership roles to build your visibility and credibility. Seek opportunities to write and publish articles in your area of expertise. Speak at technology conferences and seminars. This additional exposure will expand your network and attract greater career opportunities.
Never spend all your networking or job search time in front of the computer or on your smartphone. Don't limit yourself to networking only with other IT professionals. Realize that being highly proficient with new technologies won't necessarily keep you competitive in the market.
Be careful with your use of technical jargon and stop thinking of yourself purely as a "technologist" who happens to work in business. Recast yourself as a business person who uses technology as their primary tool for achieving business objectives.
Ford R. Myers is an executive career coach and president of Career Potential.