Career advice

The importance of networking for interims


Why is it necessary to network?

If you’ve chosen a career as an interim consultant or contractor, effective networking skills will be crucial to your success. As you’ll be regularly changing jobs and seeking out new opportunities, a strong network of useful contacts will be invaluable.
Building good contacts within your relevant industry could prove extremely helpful when you’re searching for a new position. Networking involves instigating new business relationships as well as working hard to nurture and maintain long-term ones for the mutual benefit of both parties.
Hopefully, your networking efforts should provide you with new opportunities as well as people you can turn to for business advice and knowledge.

Opportunities to network

As an interim consultant or contractor, it’s important for you to generate your own opportunities to network. Try to attend as many relevant industry events as possible, whether a conference, trade fair, or a more social event.
The web has now opened up an abundance of new opportunities for staying connected. Drop your connections, including any recruitment contacts, a personal email update occasionally to let them know when you’re available for work and also make sure your LinkedIn profile is always complete and up-to-date. Equally, remember to look out for chances to help your connections – either by recommending their services or making introductions, after all, networking should be a two-way thing.

Seven top tips for networking success:

  • Set yourself clear networking goals. For example, aim to talk to at least five new contacts during an event or to exchange contact details with a representative of a specific organisation.
  • Have your ‘elevator pitch’ at the forefront of your mind. This is a short summary of yourself and your work that will help you to introduce yourself effectively.
  • Make sure you have an adequate stack of business cards to hand.
  • Go alone. If you always have a friend or colleague in tow, it can be tempting to just talk to them and not interact with others.
  • Be confident and upfront. Make sure you sell yourself effectively without appearing arrogant and be bold in asking for a business card/contact email at the end of the conversation.
  • Be genuinely interested in other people and work hard to offer mutual benefit to your new contact. This may be by offering a personal introduction to someone or giving your insight where relevant.
  • Don’t forget to follow up on these new introductions. This could involve sending an invitation to connect on LinkedIn or dropping them a quick email.
Alongside networking, keep an eye on our live jobs and set up email job alerts.