Networking. That one word can stir up dread in even the most stalwart of MSPs. After all, we’re busy people. After juggling so many duties in our organizations each day, the last thing we want to think about is networking with others. Building and maintaining connections with peers and colleagues is vital, however, regardless of whether you’re a social butterfly or more of a wallflower.
Networking is much more than attending a conference and exchanging pleasantries with others. It’s all about making and nurturing real-life connections with others in our industry, no matter how nerve-wracking or time-consuming it might be. When done correctly, it can enhance your personal and professional life, opening doorways to new opportunities, giving you a more positive reputation in the field, and helping you develop and improve your skill set.
I know it can be intimidating to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. But I guarantee you, MSPs, doing so will help your career to flourish and allow you to become the very best MSP you can be! If you’re not sure where to begin, read these 4 handy tips:
Stay True to Yourself – We aren’t all socialites; fortunately, you don’t have to be one to create a strong network. If you enjoy attending conferences and speaking with handfuls of people all in one day, more power to you! If you’re more reserved, you can opt to meet with a colleague or a new connection over a cup of coffee. The important thing is that you make time for networking!
Follow Up – It isn’t enough to just strike up conversations with new people; you need to stay connected! There’s no need to overthink it and send out a long message to them, though. Simply reach out to them by sending a LinkedIn connection request with a short, personalized message shortly after you meet with them.
Be an Opportunist – Networking opportunities are all around you – you just might not notice them at first! You can easily make a connection when you’re helping out at your alma mater’s homecoming event, during your Zumba class, or even while you’re waiting in line for your coffee before work. Keep your eyes open for these opportunities!
Consider Volunteering – You’d be surprised at how quickly you can establish connections when you pay it forward! Take note of any opportunities in which you can lend a hand and offer assistance. You’ll meet some like-minded people while giving back to your community – a total win-win!
If you’re looking to get a head-start in furthering your career as an MSP, then I have a few unique opportunities for you. Join the MSP Competency Network or sign up for the next semester of our Executive MSP Program to help you take that next crucial step in your career! I hope to hear from you soon, MSPs – SMILE!