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If You’ve Got Career Growth on Your Mind, Elevate Your Networking Game

For leaders who are looking to take the next step in their career and land an executive-level role, there’s no better tool than a well-developed professional network.

Networking has always been a core component of the job search process, especially at the executive level. But what happens when it’s not appropriate to tap into your existing network? Or when you’re looking to transition into a new field or industry that your current network doesn’t reach?  Here are four tips for expanding your network and moving a step closer to your career growth goals:

  1. Build networks that align to your purpose
    Participating in actives that align to your purpose and passion is a great way to connect with others who have similar interests, and you never know who you’ll meet! Volunteer in the community, join a Board, sign up for a local club or team – you’ll broaden your network while making an impact and/or engaging in an activity you enjoy.
  2. Leverage learning and developmentTaking a class or attending a conference that’s aligned to the role or industry you’re interested in an excellent way to build meaningful connections with others in that space – all while building your knowledge and expertise. Many conferences leverage networking and registration apps that make connecting easier than ever.

    And don’t overlook smaller, niche workshops and events – these are often targeted to more local or specialized audiences and can be a great way to build professional connections in a specific industry.
  3. Do your research
    Invest the time in researching the role and industry you’re interested in. Which companies are based in your area? Who’s doing the type of job you’re looking for in those companies? Then reach out and ask to meet for a conversation (leveraging your existing network here is a great option). These conversations are a great way to make a meaningful connection, learn more about career pathing, what the role or the industry is really like, what skills are most needed right now (and which will be most in demand in the future), and what you should be reading or listening to in order to expand or maintain your knowledge base.
  4. Strategically engage with executive recruiters
    Recruiters have extensive professional networks and industry insight – building connections with recruiters who specialize in your field or industry is a great way to advance your career journey. Not every role will be the right fit for your career path, but staying open to conversations with recruiters and staying in touch (when you change jobs or earn new certifications) is a great way to ensure you’re positioning yourself for a chance.

If one of your 2024 objectives is career growth (or change), take some time to mindfully build your network, cultivate authentic connections, and watch your career soar to new heights!

DRiWaterstone works to connect purpose and mission-driven candidates with purpose and mission-driven organizations. Visit our Available Positions page to see some of the great roles we’re currently working to fill.

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On July 1, 2024, DRiWaterstone welcomed Doug Trout as our new CEO. We sat down with Doug to learn more about his vision for DRiWaterstone, the biggest opportunities for the company and for the nonprofit and social impact industry, and some of the challenges employers and candidates are finding in today’s job market.

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