As accounting types - we are (sometimes) less energised about networking, but if you want your career to take off - you’ll need to get better at it!

Increasingly, vacancies are filled through personal connections, not job boards. A new year job resolution like increasing your networking capabilities is a small step towards a massive future for your accounting career.

Reach out to your ex-colleagues, friends, friends-of-friends, people on your sports team, your hairdresser….you get the picture. Your friends generally want to help you out (I know, crazy!), but they can’t do that if they don’t even know you’re looking for networking opportunities. So let them know what you’re looking for – you never know who they might be able to put you in touch with.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro at networking or just starting out, these tips will be handy for almost anyone to have up their sleeve.

Get started on your networking resolution with these practical tips:

  • Check-in coats/umbrellas/hats etc - go light where possible.

  • Always wear something with pockets so you can easily pass over your business card.

  • Always wear an outfit you feel good in. Do anything that helps you feel more confident!

  • The hardest part for me is what to do when you first walk in. Get yourself settled - grab a drink and scan the room for someone you can speak with.

  • Don’t grab too much food and drink!  Better to have your hands freer than have the focus of the conversation on whether you can eat that upsized calamari-super-sauce-burger in one gulp, while not dropping your red wine…

  • For important names, sometimes a quick toilet break can be handy to put the details in your phone.

  • Before a function - get the details in your phone (including the address) - nothing raises stress more than being late or lost or both. Knowing where to park is important too.

  • If you are listening to someone speak - make sure you know who that is!  You don’t want a situation like mine where I was sat for lunch right next to the guest speaker (not having any idea who he was) and making a complete fool out of myself! Lucky for me he thought it was hilarious. Lesson learned on that one.

  • Lunch table networking can be even more awkward because you can’t really shout across the table and everyone is seated.  Make a meaningful connection with those next to you - wave across the table and try to meet these people if timing allows (walk around to introduce yourself).  At the very least try to remember names for follow up later.

  • If you know people that might be attending - check in with them prior - seeing a friendly face always helps (even putting a LinkedIn post up to your network helps sometimes)

Be yourself! Be positive, curious, polite, and brave. And remember, everyone feels nervous about networking. You are not alone!

 

Been saying 'new year, new me' but haven't taken action yet? Luckily, we have heaps of epic accounting, finance, and banking jobs waiting - just for you! Check out the latest ones on our job board, or register with us so we can let you know when your dream job rolls in.

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