How to create strong professional connections and build a network overseas

Investing time in networking is a piece of advice you’re most likely to hear from the majority of career specialists. 

The serial entrepreneur and personal branding expert Bianca Miller Cole is part of this group. 

She wrote an article, listing ten reasons why networking is essential to anyone’s career. According to her, it increases the chance of people noticing you, and you may end up establishing long-lasting relationships. It also opens doors to new opportunities.  

“For many individuals that have succeeded in their career, the causes have largely been from the strong networking channels they have created over time.”  

For the Lynx People General Manager Evelin Alvares, networking can also benefit foreigners who are trying to enter the Australian workforce. 

During a Facebook live streaming event, she explained how to build a professional network overseas.  

Here are some of her suggestions.

Use LinkedIn wisely. Evelin doesn’t recommend contacting anyone on the platform to ask for a job. A way to approach a person is to comment on one of their posts, send a message to talk about a report they published or mention a project they have worked on recently.

“First, you should do some research on that person, because you will have something to say when you decide to email them. Then, try to interact with them on the platform by expressing your thoughts on their posts, for example,” said Evelin. 

Meetups. Some institutions and professional groups promote regular events to encourage networking among people of the same field and who share the same interests. Usually, there is an activity involved, like a presentation, and participants have a chance to get to know each other later on.  

Some people may find it useful to participate in groups where they can also improve some abilities. For those coming from overseas, joining Toastmasters may be beneficial, as they focus on helping people to develop communication and leadership skills. They have 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. 

“They will assist you to present your ideas and discuss who you are as a professional. You can learn how to introduce yourself with short speeches. Also, you can meet people and make more contacts,” said Evelin.  

Many other events happen each month around Australia. To find a gathering near you, Evelin suggests visiting universities and union’s websites, or asking someone in the field about local activities. 

Discover people related to your field. According to the general manager, job-seekers should search on LinkedIn for people in the same industry to have an idea of places they frequently visit, and what kind of groups they follow. It may indicate where you should go to meet relevant people.

Let people outside of your field know who you are. Some of your peers may not have much knowledge about the industry you want to work, but they may have connections. If they are aware of what you do for a living, they may remember you when someone they know comes up with an opportunity. 

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