The importance of networking
IT professionals are often the backbone of the operations that help an organisation run smoothly. However, more often than not, they can tend to be forgotten about until something goes wrong.
As an IT professional dealing with the daily challenges facing an IT department, it can be easy to feel detached from your colleagues and the business. However, with business partnering and commercial skills attracting the highest increases in salary and promotions, being visible within your organisation and getting yourself noticed is now more important than ever to your career progression.
The easiest way to start is through regular networking. The more people you know and the more they know exactly what you do, the easier it will be to foster good working relationships and expand your professional development. While it may be intimidating at first, these three simple tips can help you get noticed, now.
Typically, important opportunities can present themselves at unexpected times, and the more you open yourself to professional exchanges, the more you will find opportunities for career advancement.
First of all, you’ll need to think about exactly how you fit into your organisation. Think about what you do, what the scope of your role might be and where it might be likely to make professional connections - depending on the size and structure of the company. Types of questions you may have will include; who do I work with most, which other teams/ individuals would I get value out of working with, who do I not know much about? Reaching out to these people through team building exercises, charity days, corporate sporting groups and team drinks are all easy ways to get to know your colleagues and the more you make yourself involved, the easier it will become.
Join formal networking groups
IT in particular is a field which lends itself to knowledge-sharing and there are a huge range of groups dedicated to just this. Meeting IT professionals outside of your organisation can be a fantastic avenue for staying abreast of trends and meeting key influencers within the field. Trade magazines and professional organisations are often the best place to start as they tend to run events on a regular basis throughout the year. Making contact with your graduate or alumni groups is also a great way to stay connected to the greater industry.
Consider networking an investment
With networking, the more time and effort you invest in it, the better your return. And, if it's tricky to begin with, remember that other people are there for the same reason.
For more information on career advice, please contact:
Rachel Wang, Regional Director, Northern China
T: +86 (21) 5153 5861
Alternatively search for the latest job vacancies at Robert Walters here.