Networking Can Help With A Career Pivot.

Networking is essential for career changers. It can help you learn about new opportunities, get your foot in the door at new companies, and build relationships with people who can support your career growth.

This is often seen as a transactional activity, where the goal is to meet as many people as possible and collect as many business cards as you can. However, a more effective way to network is to think about it through the lens of community building and an opportunity for career growth.

When you focus on building relationships with people, rather than simply collecting contacts, you're more likely to find people who are genuinely interested in helping you. You're also more likely to build relationships that are mutually beneficial.

What are your interests and hobbies? What do you enjoy doing outside of work? These are great places to start exploring communities that feel authentic and exciting to you.

Add networking to your Career Development Plan:

  • Identify your target industry and companies. Once you know what kind of job you want, start researching companies in that industry. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and reach out to your personal network to learn more about potential opportunities. (Not sure what you want to do next? Talk to the people in your life about their work. Figure out what interests you and what you’d want to do next.)
  • Reach out to your personal network. Let your friends, family, and former colleagues know that you're interested in making a career change. They may be able to connect you with people in their networks who can help you find a new job.
  • Get involved in professional organizations. Joining professional organizations is a great way to meet people in your target industry and learn about new trends and developments. Many professional organizations also offer networking events and career development resources.
  • Attend industry events. Industry events are a great way to meet people in your field and learn about new opportunities. Attend conferences, workshops, and meetups to connect with potential employers and mentors.
  • Think about your prior career through transferable skills. When you're networking, be prepared to talk about your skills, experience, and career goals. Be able to articulate why you're interested in making a career change and what you can bring to a new role.

By focusing on building relationships and being helpful to others, you can create a strong network of people who are willing to support you in your career. Networking is a two-way street. It's not just about what you can get from others, but also about what you can give. By being a valuable member of your community, you'll find that people are more willing to help you achieve your goals.

Join communities to expand your network

Professional organizations like SHRM, Discord servers such as Design Buddies, and Facebook groups for Student Affairs and Higher Education Professionals are all examples of online platforms where professionals can connect, share knowledge, and engage in meaningful discussions related to their respective fields.

There are even spaces like Amir Satvat’s Games Community spread across Linkedin, Discord, and Youtube.

Job Search Councils: A group of peer job seekers, typically 4 to 6, who agree to form a mutual support group to help each other find good jobs they love.

Attended a college or university? There’s likely already alumni groups for your alma mater! Check out places like Linkedin, Facebook, or the alumni site for your college.

Be persistent. Networking takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't get your dream job right away. Keep networking, applying for jobs, and learning new skills. Eventually, you will find the right opportunity.

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