IT professionals don’t always have the reputation of being extroverts.
Whether you’re generally friendly and love to chat around the water cooler or are some mystery man who begrudgingly fixes everything that breaks in the office, networking is a necessity for any professional-level employee in any industry.
As it goes, there are “six degrees of separation” connecting you to everyone else in the world. Whether you are looking for a new IT job now, are open to better opportunities down the road or are happy with your current situation and never see yourself going anywhere else, it’s always a good idea to make connections with other like-minded individuals.
IT is a unique field because technical skills and brains are always in high demand. Networking is rarely a requirement to land that perfect job. However, a little bit of conversation with other people whose day-to-day closely resembles yours can give you more of a competitive edge and provide additional emotional satisfaction.
Here are three big ways IT pros can become better networkers.
Join LinkedIn if You Haven’t Already
One of the best places for IT networking is LinkedIn.
There are several great benefits to LinkedIn, especially if you have a complete profile. Employers actively scour the network looking for passive candidates who need the skills you have. More often than not, you may politely turn down the new opportunity, but when you’re in demand, there’s a good chance that the perfect job will just show up in your lap because you use LinkedIn.
A large network on LinkedIn is a valuable commodity whether or not you are looking for new opportunities. If you’re laid off and find yourself actively seeking employment, your network on LinkedIn may be one of the first things they look at.
An active, complete profile essentially serves as a resume – or atleast a draft of a resume without actually putting together a resume.
LinkedIn is also a great place to get industry news in your particular field and stay atop of trends.
Explore IT Networking Groups
For IT Networking purposes, Join a professional chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) or explore other IT associations in your area. AITP members have access to a career center, get to meet other IT professionals, receive a newsletter and get discounts on many products and services.
There are also several industry and demographic-specific networking groups out there, such as BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates), Women In Technology and the National Association of Programmers.
While you’re at it, join some networking groups on LinkedIn. Some recommendations include:
If you prefer to network locally, St. Louis Information Technology Connection is a great place to start.
Attend National IT Conferences
The best IT Networking events are those that get you out of the office.
Visit a new city, learn new industry trends, hear from influential speakers and get to know other professionals in your industry.
Network with ThrottleNet
Networking remains an invaluable took no matter what industry you are in. Feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn or join us on Facebook.
Want to work for ThrottleNet? Keep an eye on career postings at ThrottleNet.com.