I get it, networking is work! But it doesn’t have to be this big, daunting task that we make it out to be. It can be very fast and efficient, and still bring results. Here’s quick and effective strategies to make the most of your time and energy.
4:30: 4 networking strategies to complete in 30 minutes or less
- Check event calendars (5 minutes)
- Send messages to 10 new connections (10 minutes)
- Participate in groups (5 minutes)
- Read an industry article (10 minutes)
This method is about speed and networking agility. A get in and get out approach to maximizing your time while expanding your insight and professional connections.
1. Check event calendars (5 minutes) - meetups, webinars, conferences, events… the list goes on. There’s almost too many relevant events to go to! Because most of these events are virtual, you can meet and connect with professionals wherever you are, in every time zone.
Check eventbrite.com, meetup.com, and others. Do a keyword search; do not just search by location. RSVP and schedule them in your calendar. See what’s happening in the upcoming weeks, that way you can pre plan your schedule and make time for important events. Virtual events are a great way to expand your network by adding participants on Linkedin, and reaching out to the presenter post event. Also, you will gain industry insight for your upcoming interviews!
2. Send messages to 10 new connections (10 minutes) - LinkedIn was created for professionals that don’t know each other to connect. If you are reaching out to professionals you don’t know, you are literally doing what the platform intended! Search for industry key words and find professionals to connect with. Add them as a connection and send a note like this:
“Hope you’re doing well! Can I ask you about your experience working at (company name)? I’m very interested in (data analytics) in the (healthcare) industry and your insights would be greatly appreciated.”
Don’t think about it; our ego is not our amigo! Connect with relevant industry professionals, add a note to your connection request, and see what happens. When they respond, strategize your reply, but right now this outreach method is about speed and networking agility. Take time in your responses, but allow yourself to be fast and efficient in your exploratory/introductory message.
3. Participate in groups (5 minutes) - Engage in Linkedin groups, Facebook groups, Slack channels, Discord, Reddit and more. Follow hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Comment, like, share, and direct message group members. In just a few minutes you can go to your favorite social sites, interact, then see what activity you generate.
4. Read industry articles (10 minutes) - Reading Tech Crunch, Towards Data Science, or one of your favorite industry sites gives you a chance to think about the big picture, while learning new trends in the field. Additionally, you can post an article that you read on a Linkedin group, write some of your insights, and welcome others to comment. This generates engagement and you can direct message people that comment on your post.
Additionally, sending industry articles to your connections is a great way to stay in touch after informational interviews:
“Hey Derek! I read this article on Tech Crunch. It reminded me of our conversation and wanted to share. Hope you are doing well.”
This is a nice way to stay connected and to check in/follow up with contacts. Keep building your relationships after your informational interviews!
So when to fit this in your schedule? My recommendation: do this at 4:30 PM on Mondays. Typically event calendars will be updated by a Monday afternoon, and you’ll get a focused career search boost at the end of your day. It will also set you up for the next few weeks so you are better able to plan your schedule with informational interviews, meetings, and events.
The 4:30 method is about speed and networking agility. A get in and get out approach for minimum effort and maximum payout. If you can do more, great! If you aren’t even doing 30 minutes of networking per week start here, and watch your job search take a new momentum.
To new connections in 2021!
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