8 Efficient Ways to Up Your Networking Opportunities in 2022
Most of us have heard of a story of a colleague getting a job because they met a peer
at a conference or connected with former classmates at an alumni event. In fact, research
has shown that
80% of jobs
are filled through networking. Nevertheless, you likely aren't
alone if you've wondered how professionals have found the time to be this social.
Today, when you have to work 40 hours, handle family commitments, and still find time to
rest, it can be challenging to connect with and meet others in your field. Fortunately,
networking doesn't have to be time-consuming or complex. Here are some efficient ways to
involve networking in your daily routines.
Don't Overwhelm Your Schedule
Only you know how much time you have to dedicate to networking. So, don't feel like you
have to overload your schedule if you haven't had a chance to meet other PMPs. If you
occasionally hop on LinkedIn or even Instagram, you're likely met with posts about what
professional activities your peers are engaging in, so you may feel the pressure to
overload your schedule, but don't! Instead, start slow. Pick one event to go to once
a month, or if you want to go further, try two events a month. The goal is to get you
started on a consistent routine that you can follow. Therefore, start by being realistic
with your schedule and go from there.
Start by Networking at Work
Every co-worker is an opportunity to build a professional connection. That PMP in another
department could be your next mentor, while another professional in your office might be
someone you stay connected to once you leave your job. Your workplace is a professional
setting, and everyone has connections to other places.
If your company has happy hours, lunch and learns, or other events that allow you to meet
and create professional bonds with your colleagues, then take advantage of them. While you
may not want to intensely network for another job while at your current one, it still
doesn't hurt to forge connections with those you work with, as these relationships can be
valuable down the line. For some helpful tips on networking at your job effectively, check
out this article.
Network With a Purpose
Did you know that you can have goals for networking? Well, you can and should! You can
create efficiency around your networking by attaching goals and objectives to it. For
example, maybe you want to change industries. If this is the case, you want to attend
events in the new sector that you want to go into, allowing you to target your attendance
to the events that meet this objective.
Additionally, if you're looking for a mentor, it would make sense to attend events with
seasoned people in your profession or industry. Knowing what you want out of networking
allows you to have a more targeted approach, so you're only going to events that fit.
This step enables you to avoid wasting your time on networking opportunities that don't
meet your criteria.
Combine Training and Networking
You could pull off a two-for-one deal regarding training and networking. If you're doing
any live classes with other professionals, you can use that as a time to also network.
You never know who you may be sitting — either physically or virtually — next to, so it's
a great time to use the opportunity to get to know those who are there.
Also, don't be afraid to network with the instructor, as this person may have connections
or can put you in contact with other people who can help you fulfill your professional goals.
If you take this approach, not only are you training, but you're also using it as a forum to
meet other people while learning.
Connect With Others Through Your Friends
Instead of attending multiple events, you may be able to skip this step by asking your
friends if they know of anyone you should meet and connect with. For example, let's say
that you want to eventually move into a leadership position and begin speaking with other
people in your industry who can give you tips on how to make that move.
Reaching out to your network with this specific request could allow you to bypass having
to attend countless meetings and instead be introduced to a professional individual you
would benefit from connecting with. Remember, possibly up to
80% of jobs vacancies are not published
so you can tap into this hidden job market by networking with your friends.
Schedule Events in Advance
How often have you looked at your calendar app to find that there's no space and that your
days have seemingly filled up overnight? As a result, you have no idea where you can insert
time for any networking events. There is a trick to overcome this, primarily through having
At the beginning of the year, or quarter, use that time to start looking at events you may
want to attend. This is likely a time when you haven't yet finalized your schedule, so you
have more chance of having a less cluttered schedule to attend events.
Use Social Activities as Opportunities to Network
While it's always good to separate work and play, there are times when it can benefit you
to combine the two. Networking isn't always about going to an actual event, but it can also
mean leveraging events that you already do. For example, maybe there is a gym class you take
with individuals who work in your industry.
You can use that event to strike up a conversation with them to discuss your work and
potentially connect on LinkedIn. Also, you can do the same if you're part of an online
meetup group or have a hobby that puts you around other people. Before you know it, you'll
have made meaningful professional connections outside of traditional networking events.
Don't Forget About Social Media
Technology has come a long way, allowing us to be even more connected with others. As a
result, social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have become an excellent way to
connect with like-minded professionals and thought leaders.
Commenting on a post of a thought leader or retweeting a professional peer's insight into
an industry event is an act of networking. You're interacting with others in your industry
and making yourself known, which is always a great thing. Also, you may be able to make
such a strong connection that it can result in an offline conversation that leads to an
It's Possible to Make Networking a Regular Part of your Schedule
To say that life can get insanely busy is an understatement. We're not only juggling work
commitments and family obligations but also managing everything from workshops to courses
that are there to help us excel and enhance our professional development endeavors.
In the midst of all of that, where is there time for networking? Fortunately, the tips
above can help you set aside time to make connections in your industry. Remember that
it's not about quantity but quality. You want to find opportunities that truly benefit
you and your career goals. So, make networking a priority, as doing so can put you where
you want to be as a PMP.
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