Networking is critical for Serving and Former Officers wanting to secure a new career. Colin Tweedie, of CJ Consulting, shared 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.
- 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.
- Actions – decide your next steps and act swiftly
- Practise – the more you network the easier it becomes.