By Mia Casey
If you work in the built environment industry, you need to be networking! Working in construction, real estate, property development or project management means you will often work with diverse groups of people. Therefore, forging positive relationships now can not only make your current work life easier, but also encourage future career opportunities. Since its so important, here are a few ways industry networking can advance your career!
Industry networking and professional reputation
Working in a very hands-on industry means that you will often encounter the same people multiple times throughout your career. Therefore, as new projects may mean cooperating with businesses or people you have come across in the past, it’s important to maintain positive relationships. While differences in personality may be difficult to overcome, remaining professional in the face of adversity is vital! Not only does this encourage smoother collaboration between groups, but it also can help your professional reputation.
Even in relatively broad industries, access to new opportunities can often be curtailed by a negative reputation. The people you work with (either daily or on a one-off project) contribute to your professional network, so how you work with them can impact whether others in the industry approach you in the future.
Networking is an ongoing process that involves more than simply meeting someone new in the industry. So while it may not seem obvious, maintaining positive relationships with others in your industry is a vital element in successfully taking part in the networking process.
Variety is the spice of life!
Introduce yourself to whoever you’re working with – even if they work in a separate part of the industry. The relationships you build with people in different areas can open up new pathways for career development. Indeed, they will often have their own networks that can produce opportunities your network may not be privy to. Maintaining strong relationships across various industry sectors can help give you a leg-up in your career!
Remember though, networking goes both ways: if you hear about an opportunity that may benefit a member of your network – reach out. Helping out a colleague fosters goodwill, and could open the door to future career opportunities!
Get online and get in touch
Professional networking has moved online and sites like LinkedIn are essential in building your professional connections. LinkedIn is an easy way to get in touch with people you’ve worked with in the past, old industry connections and colleagues. Rekindling these relationships can help you build your professional network, increase career opportunities, and reinvigorate your professional reputation. The website also allows you to connect with others in your industry you might otherwise never get the opportunity to meet. If you haven’t already, it’s a great idea to create a profile and solidify your online professional presence.
If you’re meeting someone face-to-face and one of you doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, be sure to exchange business cards or contact information. Networking opportunities can arise anywhere, so don’t let them go to waste. Be sure to share any opportunities or information you think your contacts might find interesting. This helps to foster healthy communication, and can ensure they do the same for you!
Interested in learning more about how you can network successfully within your industry? Come along to the Networking Masterclass: A guide to advancing your professional career on August 30th. As part of the Festival of Future You, this event aims to help UTS Built Environment students use networking as a tool to ‘build’ upon their success and advance their careers. Register now!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.