Networking outside your industry is as crucial as building connections in your workspace. Did you know 70% of people find a job through a connection in a country! (Source: cnbc.com) Think about this, if you only network with people in your company or industry, you may be limiting the perspectives & opportunities you are exposed to. If you would like to work for bigger companies, global companies, networking outside can help you get an opportunity of a lifetime.
I am Mansi Shah, a recruiting leader, and a Senior Coach at Job Boosts. With over eighteen years of experience and working with hundreds of candidates and stakeholders, I can tell you that building a network is the most important thing behind building a personal brand. Studies suggest that 97% of people prefer small meetings with participants. (Source: cnbc.com)
Today, I will share three easy & effective ways you can network with people outside your industry.
1. Make an action plan
Make sure you make a schedule for networking. List down and make an action plan to write down what you are going to do. Look for opportunities in your calendar. Plan to attend networking events and conferences in other cities. List down people you want to interact with and reach out to them prior. This will help you reach out to them better. Focus on networking with people in your industry and make an effort to reach out to those who interest you. Remember to customize your plan and be consistent.
2. Request Recommendations
Ask for recommendations from your connections. Do not hesitate when you ask your network to help you advertise your skills to a potential employer. Regardless of their field, connect with people and ask for recommendations. Here’s how you can do it. When you are meeting someone, you can lead the conversation and ask them to guide you to a potential connection. You can say, “I know a lot of people in production but I’m looking to broaden my circle and I know you have a diverse group of people. Do you think you could introduce me to someone?” When you do that, you open doors to new opportunities for yourself and find your potential connections for your career.
3. Think Long Term
Remember the key is to aim for long-term results. Do not expect immediate returns from your network. If you are focusing on short-term ROI, I recommend you network within your company to help you get a promotion or a raise. Long-term relationships with connections are beneficial and will help you build on ideas, partnerships and opportunities that you didn’t know existed. Think about your approach and customize accordingly.
There is a lot of competition within a single industry & also the available opportunities are limited, so it is not advisable to limit your network within your company or industry. Networking outside your industry is essential and will open doors to new opportunities for you and your career. Looking for connections and building relationships outside your industry is as crucial as building a network within your workspace. Remember to build an action plan. Customize your search and reach out to connections that will help you grow. Look for recommendations from your former colleagues and professionals to demonstrate your expertise. The process of building an efficient network is long but gives out tremendous results. So, use the above three ways to help you network outside your industry. The more diverse the group, the better the opportunities. I wish you the best!