Networking for career success - Angela Couch career coach in Auckland

How can you use your network and contacts to help develop your career?

If you’re looking at making a change in career, it’s a good idea to figure out who can help you.

A really good place to start is with who you already know.

Who do you already know that is working in an industry that you like?

Who do you already know that is doing a job that you like?

These are people you can connect with and ask them how they got to where they are in their careers.

What qualifications did they need? What work experience have they acquired? How did they get from where they were in the beginning of their career to where they are right now?

Ask them these questions and then do some of your own research as well.

Find out about your local educational facilities.

If you want to work in a field where you need to up-skill and re-educate, what are the training courses available to you? Who are the training providers? How long will it take? How much will it cost?

You can also leverage industry-specific networking bodies.

Whichever profession you’re looking to get into, there’s likely a relevant professional organisation that you can join.

For example; as a career coach I am a member of the professional regulatory body the Career Development Association of New Zealand.

One of the benefits is that I get to connect with my peers and learn about the latest tools, technology and about how the career development industry is taking shape.

So if you want to learn more about a specific industry or a specific role, it’s worth finding out about what professional bodies exist.

While some of them require paid membership, most of them will let you come along for one or two visits for free.

You never know who you might meet at these professional networks. It’s a good idea to try and have a one-to-one chat with some of those you meet so you can find out more information.

You can ask the same questions as above: how did they get to where they are now? Who do they know? What advice can they give you? How can they help you?

Another good way to get professional advice is to find a mentor.

There are professional mentoring agencies that can connect you with an appropriate mentor.

For example; if you want to be self-employed, you can get a business mentor.

If you want to specialise in a specific industry or area, there are likely to be mentors available to you within those specific industries.

So, who do you know that can help you find a mentor? Who, within your target industry, can help you find out who to connect with and where to find them?

One-to-one in-person meetings is a great way to network!

But there is also social media and your online presence.

LinkedIn is a great place to find professional contacts and specific companies you may want to work for.

You can search for them on LinkedIn. A company pages usually show a list of some of the people that work there.

You can also explore the employees’ LinkedIn public profiles and see their career journey. What jobs did they have to get where they are now?

This will help you to work out which companies are good for career development, where you want to go and what it looks like.

LinkedIn is also a good place to find professional bodies to connect with. Many people will list not only their previous jobs, but often other groups they’re interested in as well as their professional organisations.

You can do all of this without having to pick up the phone and talk to anyone.

Facebook, Eventbrite and Meetup are also good places to connect and find networks of professionals and people in specific industries and job types.

Many of them are free. You can sign up and go along, either online or in person. Go with the aim of learning something new and connecting with people who are already in the industry.

The key thing to remember is that you have access to a wide network and that many people would be willing to help or advise if you ask them.

Need help with a career move into a new industry?

Call Angela Couch (Career Coach in Auckland) on 0226 467818 or email to discuss your next career move.

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