Networking for newly qualifieds
So, you have got the stress of your exams out of the way, have celebrated your successes on results day, and you may have even filled the forms out to make sure you get those all-important letters after your name. Now, what is the next thing to do on your career progression checklist?
Based on our experience of dealing with numerous successful high-level tax professionals over the years we can confidently say that starting to build your own network of contacts should be near the top of your list.
As recruiters we like the idea of going to events (particularly those with nice wine and canapes!) and chatting to new people but we know that lots of younger professionals find networking a daunting prospect. But once you have got started it can soon become a fun part of your job as well as becoming a key “soft skill” to help you help get promotions etc.
To help you get into the groove here are a few tips:-
- Firstly, have the mindset that networking is not about selling (which lots of people find a scary prospect). It is about building relationships with people who may be able to help each other in the future.
- Remember that networking with colleagues within your own organisation (so they know how your expertise can help them and vice versa) is often just as important as external networking.
- Get actively involved with local branch of your professional body – perhaps join the local branch committee. A terrific way to meet fellow professionals.
- Ask your line manager and / or your mentor if you have one to take you along to some events to see how they go about networking.
- Networking is a bit like Christmas presents – it can be nicer to give than receive – and if you give nice presents you are likely to get nice ones back.
- Don’t neglect your online presence – make effective use of LinkedIn.
- Networking is a skill you can get trained in.
- Some of the contacts you make in the early stages of your career will “grow” with you and your careers will hopefully progress in tandem. Some may even go on to become good friends as well as professional contacts.