1. Talk to employees in your dream job
Want to work as a Project Manager at Melbourne Water, but unsure how to get there? Call a Project Manager at Melbourne Water and ask how they began their career. Ask about their qualifications, previous job experience, how they got their role, and any advice they can give you. Not only will this give you ideas on how to shape your own career, but it also gets you talking to people in the industry that you want to work in.
2. Make the most of networking opportunities at conferences
Conferences and exhibitions are great networking platforms for meeting people in a casual and relaxed environment. Look at the exhibitor lists of upcoming conferences and research the companies you would like to seek employment with. Once prepared with your background knowledge on the company, visit their booths and introduce yourself and ask any further questions you might have about the company and what they are displaying.
Be sure to follow up for a more relaxed chat if there is a networking drinks or social function, but be mindful about keeping a professional approach even if it is a casual affair. If appropriate, enquire about any available positions they may have.
3. Be active in presentations of prospective employers
If a company you wish to work for has a speaker at a trade show or conference you’re attending, be an active audience member and ask questions when appropriate. Ask questions that convey your genuine interest and illustrate your understanding of the topic. A thoughtful and well-timed question will help the speaker remember your face next time you meet.
4. Consider a broader range of industry activities as networking opportunities
While conferences and expos provide the easiest and most productive forum for networking, think outside the box for ways to talk to people in the industry. Training seminars, day-courses, company equipment demonstrations and site visits present opportunities to meet potential employers. Remember to have business cards with you at all times, and go out of your comfort zone to talk to new people and ask them questions about what they do.
5. Join Affiliated Societies
Some relevant societies for consideration include the Australasia Society for Trenchless Technology, Civil Contractors Federation, and International Society for Trenchless Technology. Some branches have regular meetings open to members, and keep their members up-to-date with upcoming events and industry news.
The main thing to remember with networking is to follow-through with any new contact you have made. If you meet someone who could help your job hunt, be sure to ask for their business card and follow-up promptly with an email post-meeting reiterating how much you enjoyed meeting them.
A person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers into their mind for immediate recollection, so in order to be remembered make sure you have an ongoing presence at industry events and make yourself remembered positively by prospective employers.