If you want to further your career as a Craftsman, then you need support! Because the reality is that you just can’t do it alone. One of the best ways to do this is to network. And we don’t mean make a new connection on LinkedIn! Yes that’s good too, but conversations are required for real networking – which is why it’s so powerful to meet new people! Whether you’re attending an construction industry event, or just going to the gym with a buddy. Here are the secrets to building a network that will truly help to further your career:
Give Give Give.
The best way to make an impression is to give tons of value to the organization or people that are hosting an event, as well as other people like you that are attending. Ask fellow attendees what their goals are! Perhaps you have a colleague you can connect them with, or know of a tool that can help them on the job site. Sign up to be on a committee – or perhaps volunteer do a small task to help set-up the event. Or simply spread the word to others about what the host is doing, and invite friends and colleagues to come with you! A goal in common will quickly bond you with others that are working towards a goal with you.
Don’t expect anything in return.
Here’s the real kicker – when you give, do so without any expectation of favors being returned. Otherwise, you’ll end up being resentful thinking that networking doesn’t work if you’re keeping score of what they’re giving back to you. So don’t go to these events expecting potential employers to hire you! Instead, see how you can learn from mentors and experts in their industry. When people give you advice or introduce you to someone, make sure to thank them and follow up with them to tell them how it worked out. They’ll be much more likely to help you again!
Always be connecting – even on the jobsite!
Get to know other people on a project, especially if you’re spending weeks or more on a jobsite. The more you know about them, the more ways you have to give them something they want. Ask them what brought them there, what talents they have, and what they’re excited about! You may have only a few minutes to chat with someone, so focus more on how you can help then, rather than talking about yourself. It will naturally come up at another time!
Clearly communicate your talents.
Help others understand what you do, because the real power of networking comes being connected to more people who know your skills. They’ll be much more likely to think of you when they meet someone who needs your unique talents, and could be incredible referral sources for you – whether it’s a future job, mentorship, or other career opportunity. Practice so that you can clearly and quickly communicate this before your next networking event, project, or even job interview!
Pay attention to trends and trade events.
The good news is that there are several trade associations that host seminars, conferences, or other events. Look up your own specialty and see what’s offered. Perhaps even look to educational events where you would like to gain skills – so you’re learning and networking at the same time! And research trends in the industry so that you know what new skills are most valuable, so that you can pursue those that interest you most.
It’s no surprise that you’ll be more welcomed when you give them value and have a positive vibe. And don’t forget that Madden Industrial Staffing can help you build a network too, we have access to employers and educational opportunities that are looking for talented craftsmen like you! Contact us to answer your questions and help guide you in the growth of your career path.