Blog logoMatthew Lang

Networking

A 3 post collection


One to one networking

 •  Filed under Networking, Posts

I previously wrote about the importance of maintaining your professional network. Today we're going to talk about the same thing, except in the real world.

I'm not one for attending mass networking events. These events are good if you want to find new contacts or be introduced to someone for the first time, but for existing contacts I prefer a more focused meeting. One to one networking if you like.Let me tell you about my mate John.

We worked together about ten years ago for a software vendor specialising in risk management software for health organisations. I loved the job and I loved working with John. He frequently used mind mapping to discuss problems in our software and always provided a great service to our customers. When we were all made redundant, me and John decided to stay in touch.

Over the last decade, I've met up with John about every four months. When each of us are armed with a coffee and a cake, the conversations goes from family life to careers and technology. We talk about ideas for software products, interesting applications, risk management, decision tools and more. The majority of the conversations always falls back to ideas for risk management and decision tools for the web.

It's a great chance to catch up with a good friend, but it also gives me the chance to find out what's happening in his career, his contacts and whether they are any opportunities for career moves. It's times like this that I appreciate the one to one nature of conversation. The conversation is fast, detailed and always leads to an idea or two. No email, no messaging, no smoke signals. You can't file this meeting away for later like you would an email or message, and then forget about it. While networking through the digital world is necessary, so is meetings like this. Whether it's frequent or not, the chance to find out what's happening, discuss ideas and ventures can always lead to an opportunity to further your career or skills.

The next time you find someone on LinkedIn that you want to connect with, remember the people you currently have in your network. When was the last time you had a one to one meeting with someone who influences you?

Don't neglect your professional network

 •  Filed under Posts, Networking

I know and I'm sure you know that networking is important, but I didn't realise how important it was until a couple of weeks ago.

At the start of the year I made a choice to move away from what I perceived to be an in-secure job in an agile development back to my previous job in an ERP consultancy working with Dynamics NAV. Having resided myself to a career of working with Dynamics NAV, I deleted my LinkedIn account and stopped looking for work in the Ruby community.Fast forward six months and I have been paid off from the ERP consultancy due to budget constraints within the company and I have exhausted all leads in the west of Scotland for Dynamics NAV work. What to do now?

I had very few people in my network that I could turn to to ask about possible leads for freelance and permanent work.I fell back to Twitter for a couple of days to see if any of my followers were looking for a developer. It lead to one interview. The interview wasn't successful, but it was still a potential job and that's what having a good network is all about. Making sure that you are well connected to people that can help find you leads and opportunities. Even though I hadn't posted on Twitter for a while, people were still reaching out with suggestions.

I decided to create another LinkedIn account again to see if I cold improve on my search for a job. The last time I had a LinkedIn account I didn't use it to look for jobs or keep my profile updated with what I was working on. This time it will be different.Having spent the last couple of weeks looking for work I've started to see the benefits of using your professional network more regularly. In he last week alone I've had a number of messages from people I have previously worked with who have leads for potential jobs.

Don't neglect your professional network, it's important. Keep people updated with changes in your employment status and projects you are working on. You never know, it could lead to a great opportunity for you when you need it the most.

Being socialable

 •  Filed under Links, Networking

More of an introvert than an extrovert? Some good tips here to make social gatherings and meetings easier.