Networking can be tough. It can be daunting, intimidating and seem like an impossible task. But this isn’t a business for the fainthearted. Opportunities aren’t just going to fall on your lap without hard work.
As someone who is still trying to gain employment in this field, networking is paramount. If someone knows of your skills and capabilities, they may consider you for a position in their company, or know someone who is looking for a candidate like you.. However, it’s not just about making a connection with someone. It’s about maintaining the dialogue and engagement with your network, using your network to your advantage.
Firstly, social media is your best friend. You’ve probably discovered this article through either Twitter or Linkedin. That’s a great start. Ensure with Twitter and Linkedin that your profile is up to date, free of any errors.
Next, start using these tools everyday. Don’t just follow people in the industry, engage in conversation. I am always talking with other people in sports business about stories, ideas etc. It’s a great way to show people (and perspective employers) that you know what you’re talking about. Joining groups that you are interested in on Linkedin can be rewarding too.
There are an abundance of twitter chats that will enable you to converse with other sports business industry folks and make connections.
The following are weekly chats great for networking:
Sports Business Chat: #sbchat
Sports Pr Chat: #sportsprchat
Social Media in Sports: #smsportschat
Sports Jobs Chat: #sjchat
On the subject of Twitter hashtags, my favorite one is #sportsbiz. Do a search of this and you will find many like-minded people who love to discuss sports business.
Attending sports business events is another great way to build your network. There may be industry nights, career fairs or symposiums in your area that you can attend. Any connection you make at an event like these make sure to follow up with dialogue shortly after, even it’s its just a ‘Great to meet you” message.
The bottom line is to follow the rule of ABN: Always Be Networking. Make sure your network isn’t dormant, it should always be working. At the end of the day, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.