5 Professional Networking Goals for 2018

Whether your career involves daily face-to-face interactions with clients and customers or has you working in seclusion building databases and websites, it’s important to remember that everyone, regardless of their skill set or daily tasks, is ultimately in the “people business”—especially regarding career advancement. After all, it’s people who decide to hire and promote, and knowing the right people can often enhance your career faster and more significantly than adding bullet points to your resume.

In 2016, LinkedIn reported that 85-percent of jobs were filled via networking. That means people applying for positions or attempting to get promotions without having an “in” face serious uphill battles, as the people who make those decisions are significantly more likely to choose candidates that they know personally or that come recommended to them via trusted friends, family, and coworkers.

Networking isn’t just important for people who are actively looking for new positions or to climb the corporate ladder, either. It’s also a great way to become more entrenched in a current position, learn new skills, and simply enjoy the company of like-minded professionals.

At TA Staffing, we recommend that all workers do their best to hit these five networking goals in 2018:

  1. Perfect your online presence. Business cards still matter, but your online presence is more important than ever. Having a slick and frequently updated portfolio website, LinkedIn profile, and active Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts can help you stand out in a crowded job market. Google yourself right now—do you like what you see, and would you hire yourself? If not, make the necessary changes.
  2. Get to know your coworkers. There’s no better place to network than the place where you spend 40+ hours per week. Workplace networking involves more than just exchanging pleasantries—it requires truly getting to know the people you collaborate with daily. Given how quickly and frequently people change jobs and careers, the coworkers you connect with today can be the keys to your next career move tomorrow.

  3. Be a rock star at work. It’s not always possible to develop strong connections with everyone you work with, especially if you work at a large company. But standing out via your hard work, dedication, and skillset can help you quickly make a name for yourself. Networking doesn’t always involve chit chat and after work drinks. In many cases it simply involves proving yourself to be a valuable and trusted employee and asset—someone that your coworkers and current clients will remember in the future.

  4. Keep an open mind. Opportunity knocks when you least expect it. Always keep an open mind to new opportunities. If you’re offered a chance to cross train in another department at work, or if you’re invited to a party or luncheon that’s a little outside of your comfort zone, take it. Pushing yourself beyond your normal limits can help you meet people and learn new skills that you might otherwise never be exposed to, and new experiences are one of the best ways to advance in your career and in your life.

  5. Stay prepared for new opportunities. Being receptive to new challenges and connections is important, but that’s just one part of the equation. You also need to be prepared to capitalize when opportunities come your way. That means creating a plan before you go to networking events, knowing the best ways to present yourself and what you bring to the table, and always presenting yourself in a manner that’s professional, relaxed, and approachable.

If you’re looking for the perfect position to advance your career, fill out a free contact form on our website or visit our Facebook page for more information about our most recent job postings and career opportunities.

Posted by Jeff Bates at 1:05 PM
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