Is it easy to build the world

Building a network: start small

The benefits of a professional network are undisputed. Above all, a large and well-functioning network of contacts can be advantageous in a wide variety of situations: Be it to get information, receive tips, exchange experiences or support each other with advice and action. In short, your network can make it a success. Before you can benefit from it, you have to do one first Build a network - and that is exactly a great challenge for many. Where and how do I start? How do I manage to build a network? Lots of questions and big goals, but if you want to build a network, it's best to start small ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Building a network: Is it always difficult at the beginning?

Sometimes you just can envious and amazed look at the career network of colleagues or superiors. This does not mean the linked contacts in professional social media such as Xing, where many have built up a network of several hundred people. But many manage to build and maintain such a community outside of the digital world.

Such colleagues seem to really know everyone. The employees from other departments who work on a project, employees from other companies who can act as business partners, suppliers or customers and somehow even the assistant from the boss of their own boss. Just everyone there is to know. This is impressive on the one hand, but it is also worrying if your network is just getting started.

Perhaps the most common question then is: How am I ever going to do itto build such a network yourself? The wish is there and you also recognize the advantages that the network can bring you - but you do not yet see how you should achieve this goal.

Please don't let that discourage you, because the old saying goes Every beginning is difficult does not have to apply if you want to build a network. But on the contrary. Often times, the best strategy is if you start small and simpleinstead of wanting it all at once. The English idiom fits better slow and steady wins the race.

Building a network: start with the right people

As impressive as a large professional network is, the first contacts are always made. You do not immediately surround yourself with 50 people and after a short time you have an extensive network of contacts. Such a thing develops slowly and piece by piece. There is also an important basic rule when you want to build a network. Quality is more important than quantity. Or to put it a little more pointedly: Even the largest network is comparatively useless if it does not contain the right contacts.

This is one of the reasons why the first contacts are particularly important for establishing a network. You can Foundation for further growth lay. However, there is a big misunderstanding when it comes to the right people. Superiors, managers, important people with responsibility - many believe that these are particularly important for a network. But it cannot be said in general terms.

Especially when you want to build your network, it is usually better to surround yourself with people who similar goals like yourself. In this way you can support each other, understand your point of view better and can build and achieve something together.

Contacts in higher positions are then that second stepbecause they are already where you want to go. You can act as a role model and mentor whose experiences you can learn from.

Tips to help you build a network

If you haven't been into it all that much, you may be concerned that you won't be able to set up a network. But don't worry: building a professional network is not rocket science and anything but impossible.

We have a couple Tips compiledthat can help you to build up a network - not only at the beginning, but also if you want to expand and maintain your professional network in the long term:

  • Make yourself aware of your goal

    When you build a network, you can use it to pursue different goals. Do you just want to network with like-minded people? Are you looking for active support or exchange? Do you want to do something bigger with the network and found a community?

    Before you start building a network, make sure you understand why you want this in the first place. This will also help you to find suitable people to fit into your network.

  • Go to network events

    One of the best ways to build your network is with the many events that are designed to do just that. Here you come into contact, meet people from your and other industries and can take the first important steps towards your own network, especially at the beginning.

    The big advantage: It is particularly easy at network events because everyone has the same goal and wants to make contacts. Even if you have a hard time getting into the conversation, there's a good chance someone else will reach out to you.

  • Connect your network

    You yourself are an important hub, but a real network only emerges when you network your individual contacts with one another.

    Organize joint meetings, introduce those involved or recommend your contacts to each other. In this way, you not only build your network, but keep it growing.

  • Be helpful and useful

    When you build a network, you can benefit from it. However, you shouldn't start right away. Those who only have their own benefit in mind seem exhausting and annoying. Build your network the other way around by helping others.

    Offer a favor, help with a problem, or come up with a good idea - if you're helpful, supportive, and unselfish at first, you will definitely be remembered and easier to network afterward.

  • Deepen the contact

    Yes, we should definitely talk about that again ... Many conversations end like this and are never continued. You meet a new contact, maybe even exchange email and phone number, but expanding a network takes more than a casual contact and a quick chat.

    So let your words be followed by deeds and deepen the contact. Write a short email and ask if the person you are talking to is going to be at another conference in the near future, where they could meet again to continue the interesting conversation.

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[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]
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23 August 2019Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. On the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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