How to network to your new IT job

Network. Network. Network. It’s the mantra of many highly successful professionals. But how do you do it? How do you network to your new IT job?

Well, networking certainly can let you access all kinds of people, resources, and opportunities that you might not otherwise have.

But it’s important not to go in with a purely “me, me, me” mindset. Here is how to leverage the power of networking to get ahead in your IT career:

How to network to your new IT job

1) Get in the networking mindset

Most people do have the long-term networking goal of getting ahead with their career. Yet a focus on what you can get out of the situation can actually harm your chances of achieving it.

Networking works best when you listen to what other people need. Your aim should be to link them to it without (necessarily) trying to twist it into it being you that delivers it.

Often, you will find the people that are the most successful at networking tend to put more in than they take out. You can achieve a lot simply by connecting one person that wants something with someone else who wants to deliver it.

Offering to assist other people – literally asking them how you can help – is often the best strategy in networking. It’s the mindset you want to cultivate going in.

If you don’t have anything you can immediately do to help, leave them a business card, tell them to feel free to contact you and bear their needs in mind when you’re speaking to everyone else.

2) Know what you have to offer

Working the room with a big pile of CVs and references from your previous IT support jobs in hand will make it obvious you’re simply trying to get a new position. You’re unlikely to get much value from a networking session if that’s the way you go in.

Instead, try to think about what you have to offer in advance. Things like:

*Existing connections

*Skills and talents

*How you may be able to help other networkers get what they need

3) Attend tech industry events

The tech sector loves its industry events. Becoming a familiar presence at these (a person known as someone who is looking to help rather than just out to get things) is a great way to expand your network. These sorts of events are helpful for all kinds of reasons:

*They’re good practice for more specifically networking-focused events

*They can help you build confidence and your ability to get talking to people

*When you get more experience, you can use them to display your skills

*They keep you up-to-date with trends in everything from information security to cloud and software

*They help you meet more people (and the more people you know, the better as far as networking is concerned)

You can find both in-person and virtual easily online or by asking colleagues which events they’ve been to, heard of, or would recommend.

4) Use social media

Although in-person events are what most people imagine when they think about networking, social media platforms also do a lot of the heavy lifting.

LinkedIn, of course, is the most popular. But for the tech industry, GitHub is another must-visit for software engineers, web developers, and others. Here you can join in open source projects and do other things to further your reputation.

You might also consider Reddit and other online communities and discussion boards (such as Stack Overflow) where you can start to offer your expertise and connect with other people.

5) Find a mentor

If you haven’t done any networking before, it can be difficult to know where to start. Getting a little advice from someone who’s done it already can be invaluable.

You can sometimes find a mentor through other networking activities, such as attending an industry event. You might also be assigned one by your current employer or reach out to someone you used to work with and respect for some advice.

If you’re starting from scratch, building a useful and profitable network is not something that will happen overnight. It takes time. It takes effort. It can also mean doing things without getting an immediate payoff.

Having a mentor there can help you avoid pitfalls and know that you’re working towards a situation where, one day, you might be able to mentor someone else.

Shortcut the path to your next IT job

But if it really is a new IT job you’re looking for and slowly building your network feels like it’s going to take too long, there is an easier way.

Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT recruitment company. Every week, we help new and highly experienced professionals find exclusive opportunities via our proven, open, and honest recruitment process.

Why not talk your career aims through with one of our friendly experts today? Reach out to us for an obligation-free chat at any time.