Building a professional network is essentially the same as building a group of friends, only these people can help you professionally to achieve some of your goals and expand your career horizons.
Friends & family
If you already have people in your social circle who work in construction, they are perfect for helping you find out more about the industry or opportunities within it. Speak to them about apprenticeships, training, events, anything that might help you get the job you want, or access projects you’re interested in. After all, they do say “it’s not what you know, but who”.
You can use social media sites, particularly Facebook or LinkedIn, to ‘follow’ businesses pages you admire or would like to work with. You can see job vacancies they have, or attend events they put on. You can also reach out via direct messaging to ask to speak to others in the industry. Just always be polite and respectful of other people’s boundaries online.
Follow Go Construct to get started on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
Forums and discussion boards
Forums and discussion boards are great places for sharing ideas, job opportunities and information on the industry. You can talk to people at every stage of a career in construction, or maybe even find someone who works in the role you are training for. Use forums to find out about physical events, too, and be sure to show up at a few to meet people in person, as well as online.
Networking events are the classic in supposedly stressful environments. They are in fact not scary at all. There are usually ice breaking talks or seminars to encourage people to talk afterwards so you can choose who to speak to. Take a business card or your contact details with you, so anyone you do speak to can get in touch with you afterwards. Be sure to clearly introduce yourself and if possible, take the opportunity to take a few branded giveaways to remind you of the people you met, their contact details and business.
Join local organisations
Find local groups which focus on your particular job role, or are made up of local construction businesses and get involved any way you can. You may be able to attend events and meet people that way, or get access to jobs and training through the organisations members.