The secret of networking: Listen, be interested and help

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.

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.

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