How to network effectively

Networking is critical for Serving and Former Officers wanting to secure a new career. Colin Tweedie, of CJ Consulting, is giving a masterclass on networking, at the Officers’ Association (OA) Employment Symposium in York on 28th June. Ahead of the event he shares his top tips.

Set-up for success:

  • Appearance – dress to impress
  • Arrive early – it is easier to find key contacts, and there will be less people to compete for their attention.

Great Questions:

  • Opener – have a series of questions ready to start conversations, like ‘what brought you to this event?’
  • Relevant questions – think about what you want the conversation to achieve
  • Follow on questions – have questions ready to continue the conversation, like ‘what do you like to do outside of work?’
  • Invitations – ask important contacts if they can meet for coffee, so you can find out how you can help each other.


  • Listen – asking questions is good but you need to hear the answers
  • Be interested – people are more likely to help those who engage in what they say
  • Help – focus on what you can do for others rather than what they can do for you, this is a great basis to start building long term relationships.

Follow up:

  • Actions – decide your next steps and act swiftly
  • Practise – the more you network the easier it becomes.

About the OA Employment Symposium:
The OA Employment Symposium is on Wednesday 28th June 2017, 14:00-20:00, at the Network Rail Training Centre, York. The OA Employment Symposium brings together employers, industry experts and the OA network to provide relevant plenary sessions, career advice and industry focused insights for those in transition or considering a second career change.

Book your place on the OA Employment Symposium.