Being a military spouse, you probably have a hard time building your own career. Moving around so much can really hurt your career, especially when you have to take care of children while your other half works.
But, you can turn your career around and find new opportunities for yourself if you learn the fine art of networking.
Here are some genius tips and practical applications for how to network as a military spouse.
1.Integrate networking into your daily routine
You should create some social media profiles and start connecting with people from your industry or similar industries. You can find them easily by joining LinkedIn or Facebook. Integrate hanging out on these social media platforms each day as a way to get some new contacts and find opportunities.
Create posts, look for jobs or just chat with people with a similar skillset.
How To Do It: Did you know you can search for people based on your interest and location? For example, if you want to see “writers” in Durham, North Carolina, you can just type in “writer” in the search bar and then select people and add “Durham” in the location selector on the left side of the page.
2. Network with a goal
“Once you start networking, you should develop a goal. You should strategically reach people who can change your life and your career. With this approach, you don’t have to be direct but rather have a warm pitching strategy which enables you to make friends, get references from other people and so on,” says Diana Olly, an HR at UKTopWriters and OXEssays.
Before you start networking, think about what you want to get from it. Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals and make sure that each networking step you take is steered that way.
How To Do It: If you want to be a published writer, your main network would be publishers, other writers, agents, and so on. Every conversation with them should benefit your ultimate goal.
3. Research before reaching out
Before you decide to reach out to a professional, you should do the research. Doing the research will help you understand the person and their work better instead of just contacting them without knowing what they do or how they can help you. Have several options of people you can reach for different goals that you want to achieve.
How To Do It: There are many opportunities to do research. Once you get in contact with someone or start planning to get in contact with them, you should research them on LinkedIn. See what their education and experience are so you can use it effectively in your conversations (just remember, when you look at someone’s profile, they can see that you looked at it!) If they are not on LinkedIn, do a quick Google search.
4. Be pleasant and direct
People like kind people and they also like directness. Have confidence in your own story and mission. Once you have decided who can help you, go meet them and offer them what you have. Whether it’s something you know how to do or make, they will appreciate the direct approach.
How To Do It: For example, introduce yourself to someone and say that you are a writer or a marketer right away. Then try to use your elevator pitch to sell them your services in a subtle, yet direct way.
5. Craft an elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is your one-sentence selling point. You can approach people with this sentence. What can you do for them? What skills do you posses. Make sure that you are sure that this is what you want them to hear. You can also research your audience to discover what they need, what they want from a team member.
How To Do It: For example, “I’m a graphic designer working on logos and illustration for websites. I believe that any expression has a visual counterpart. This is why my illustrations tend to go viral,” if you are a graphic designer. You can be creative here and try to keep it under 30 seconds!