At the C-Suite and Board levels, networking is often the only way to hear about open positions. This means that networking becomes even more important to managing and growing your career than when you first entered the business world.
Many of my clients hesitate to advertise their new degree, or are simply uncomfortable networking. No one at the executive level can afford to avoid networking! Make some time for preparation, then be sure to add networking time every month into your calendar so it simply becomes a part of your schedule. Here is a collection of general networking tips, with a keen eye toward putting your new eMBA front and centre so that you can make the most of it!
Prepare to network.
Social media. Often, new contacts will make the effort to look you up and learn more about you. Make sure your LinkedIn and other social media accounts are up-to-date and easily searchable.
Introductions. One of the things that tends to intimidate many people is the act of introducing themselves. Prepare your introduction ahead of time, so you feel more confident, and make sure to mention your eMBA. Do have an elevator pitch ready if you’re looking for a new position, to be ready to answer the questions about what you do and what position you’re seeking. Have a short answer ready for why your eMBA is an important distinction, too, such as advanced leadership skills, global perspective, and more.Do you know why your eMBA is an important distinction? Click To Tweet
Cards. Ensure that you have business cards ready to hand out, even if you’re currently out of work. Add your degree to your information and any other certifications you’ve earned. It’s a great introduction tool for new contacts, and a reminder to follow up for established contacts who are willing to help you make connections to get a new job.
Dress. Have a suit or business attire that is clean, fits well, and allows you to move comfortably. You don’t need to be able to dance the Nutcracker, but make sure your networking attire doesn’t gap, bunch, or pull when shaking hands, gesturing, or raising a hand to catch someone’s attention.
Go forth and begin networking!
Schedule it. Make a note of networking events in your industry on your calendar every month. Networking is part of your career maintenance. Just like updating your profiles and resume, just like taking a class to be cutting-edge in your field, make it happen.
Go. Make a note of networking events in your industry on your calendar and go. Networking by phone and online is a start, but you need to show up in person to make deeper connections.
Alumni perks. Contact your eMBA school’s alumni office to find out if there are alumni networking groups in your area. Use the directory to reach out to other graduates. One of the reasons you put so much money and effort into this degree was because of the networking opportunities it would give you: Now follow through and do your part!
Follow up. Phone, email, or text your contacts regularly. You can just touch base, pass on a tip, or make arrangements to meet for coffee, but you need to maintain the connections and forge stronger ties with your network.
Be a valuable contact. Networking isn’t something you do just during a job search. Establish a great network of contacts before you need it, and keep an eye out for valuable services you can offer them, not just on what they can do for you. Know of an open position? Call a contact who might be a good fit, or recommend them to a recruiter. Found an interesting solution for a common industry issue? Pass it on. Accept requests for meetings or connection with newer eMBA grads from your school, too. Networking is a two-way street. Be a valuable contact in return.
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