How to Build and Maintain a Strong Professional Network That Can Serve You Well Throughout Your Career

Developing a professional network is critical to achieving professional success. According to statistics, networking is responsible for filling 85 percent of all positions. A solid network of professional contacts can help you open doors, gain access to business knowledge, and perhaps find your ideal job. Present and past coworkers, supervisors, advisers, teachers, graduates, acquaintances, and […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
Credit: Brooke Cagle
Credit: Brooke Cagle

Developing a professional network is critical to achieving professional success. According to statistics, networking is responsible for filling 85 percent of all positions. A solid network of professional contacts can help you open doors, gain access to business knowledge, and perhaps find your ideal job.

Present and past coworkers, supervisors, advisers, teachers, graduates, acquaintances, and industry experts can all be part of your network. However, if you’re just getting started, building such a strong network might be challenging.

It will take a determined effort to build meaningful relationships, but it does not have to be a difficult task. Here are six networking strategies to get you started if you want to expand your network and enhance your career.

Participate at Industry Events

Make an effort to attend relevant business events, whether it’s a networking group or an expert presenting on a current issue. You’ll be in a room with people who share your interests and with whom you may discuss issues related to your field. Face-to-face encounters will expand your network and leave a deeper, more lasting impact than a simple introduction email.

Make the most of your networking opportunities while you’re there. Listen attentively, converse, and inquire. When it’s your moment to speak, prepare your “elevator pitch,” which should include the name of your firm, its function, and your role in the company.

To guarantee your social contacts remember you, follow up within 24 hours after the event. It will sufficient to send an email with a simple “hi” and a brief reminder of what you discussed. If you promised to do anything specific, like make an introduction or give useful information, keep your word.

Create an effective online presence

In today’s environment, it’s quite probable that colleagues will conduct an internet search to learn more about your professional experience and hobbies. Make sure to present yourself in the best light possible, just as you would in person. Stick to professional social media sites like LinkedIn while networking, and make sure your accounts are accurate, full, and up-to-date. (If you’re not sure where to begin, consider these seven LinkedIn profile tips.)

Use Content to Engage

Keep in touch with your contacts by sending them relevant material, such as an educational blog article, an inspiring TED presentation, a thought-provoking industry whitepaper, or a local networking event. Explain why you thought of them and how it could be useful in your message.

Likewise, if one of your contacts is highlighted in the press, leave a remark or send them a note congratulating them on their accomplishments and the value they offer to their position.

You may also leave comments on or tag suitable people in articles shared on social media by your business contacts, letting them know you’re thinking of them while promoting yourself as a thought leader. You can use KamaDeva Yoga for twitter over time, engaging with useful material will help your contacts perceive you as a valuable part of the industry.

 Reintroduce yourself to old acquaintances

It’s simple to lose touch with your whole network, even if you’d prefer to. Even though it’s been a while since you last spoke, don’t be hesitant about reconnecting with old connections.

When you contact them, explain why you’d like to reconcile and apologize for the time you’ve been out of touch. You may engage them in a variety of ways, including sharing relevant material, congratulating them on a noteworthy accomplishment, or just asking for their comments or expert guidance. Schedule a time to have a cup of coffee to keep the discussion going, and make sure you keep your word. You should only ask for a big favor, such as a reference, once you’ve restored your professional relationship.

Return the favor.

Keep in mind that networking isn’t only about what other people can do for you; it’s also about what you can do for them. “How can I help you?” is a great way to show your network that you’re an useful contact to have. Show your intent to build a mutually beneficial connection before demanding anything from them. If someone requests an informative interview or a coffee discussion, say yes if your schedule allows. Your advice may be useful in the next part of their career, and they will remember it.

Build solid ties by delivering value to your network on a regular basis—offering advice when asked, promptly responding to questions, and connecting others with people in the business. Introduce two of your connections if you believe they might benefit from each other’s knowledge. This small act may make a big difference, and you’ll be the first person they think of when it’s time for them to repay the favor.

Maintain Consistent Communication

It’s critical to maintain your network as you continue to expand it by engaging with your contacts on a regular basis. Don’t feel obligated to communicate on a regular basis, but make sure you do so at least twice a year. It may be as easy as a thank-you message on LinkedIn or a friendly email, thanking them for an introduction or advice that resulted in a great outcome. Take advantage of the chance to reach out and say “congratulations” if a connection upgrades his or her job title on LinkedIn.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to connect with your network. Just keep your communications genuine and focused on preserving a win-win situation. These suggestions will assist you in developing and maintaining strong networking skills that will benefit you throughout your career.

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.