Establish Networks

8 August 2016

Establish Networks BSBREL401A For this task, you are to identify 3 different opportunities for networking that will be of benefit to your current vocation and your professional development. You should consider investigating the benefits of the following potential networks. Advisory committees Colleagues Committees Government agencies Internal/external customers Lobby groups Local inter-agency groups Other organizations Professional/occupational associations Project specific ad hoc consultative/reference groups Specific interest or support groups Suppliers Work team

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There are multiple ways to identify work opportunities such as contacts and networks, on-line job boards, professional associations, recruitment agencies, directories, journals and newspapers. Contacts and networks are highly important to career success in identifying industry trends and positions – this is especially true as most jobs are not advertised. …the most dependable and up-to-date information on jobs and careers is found by talking to people…if you want to find out if this new job, career or organisation fits you, you must go talk to people actually doing the work that interests you.

Bolles, 1979 Networking is about connecting and engaging with people. it can be done formally or informally and is vital for effective career management. it is an excellent way to gain information, which will enable you to identify appropriate opportunities, and to target positions and organisations where you will be able to grow professionally. Also, some of your network contacts can, at times, act as a mentor to you in an informal (or formal) mentor relationship. Networking enables you to: • gather information related to your career goals explore the ‘hidden’ job market • create opportunities by approaching people who need the skills you have to offer • position yourself well within your current position or organisation, so as to be able to avail yourself of opportunities as they arise • build larger networks of people to give you a better understanding of the current market and future possibilities • prepare better for job interviews • enhance your communication skills • increase your circle of influence, as well as your confidence.

One way to investigate possibilities is through information interviews – this might involve calling up someone who works in an area which interests you and asking for some time with them. In this type of interview you might ask: • What do they do in a typical day, week, month, and year? • How did they get into the role? • What is positive about the job and what is negative? • What would they suggest is a good way to prepare for such a role? • Who else would they suggest you speak to, to get another perspective on this type of work?

Could you use them as a referral with that other person? Being proactive in your own development and broadening your experience allows you to develop in your job, prepare for new roles and improve your productivity and build your contact base. The best and most immediate opportunities for developing are often in your existing role. As well as formal education and training, learning and development opportunities exist in many different ways for and staff. (Refer to page 18 and 19 of this guide for development options for Hr practitioners.) You should research and priorities ideas for further development and include them in your career conversation with your supervisor. Benefits of Networking Active networking is vital to career growth. Often confused with selling, networking is actually about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return. Your network includes everyone from friends and family to work colleagues and members of groups to which you belong.

Here are some of the key benefits of networking: Strengthening Relationships Networking is about sharing, not taking. It is about forming trust and helping one another toward goals. Regularly engaging with your contacts and finding opportunities to assist them helps to strengthen the relationship. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your goals. Fresh Ideas Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role.

Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of. Similarly, offering helpful ideas to a contact is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker. Raised Profile Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known.

You can then help to build your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. Access to Opportunities Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. Active networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral. New Information

Networking is a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of your peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments. A wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means broader access to new and valuable information. Advice and Support Gaining the advice of experienced peers is an important benefit of networking. Discussing common challenges and opportunities opens the door to valuable suggestions and guidance. Offering genuine assistance to your contacts also sets a strong foundation for receiving support in return when you need it.

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