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How do I expand my network? I feel like I only know Military people.

Veteran

Angela Roman Avon, IN

I feel as though I only know military people. They are great, but the biggest part of my professional career has been spent working with Military and Veteran personnel.

24 July 2020 8 replies Networking

Answers

Advisor

Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

Hi Angela-
Thanks for your service!
I checked out your Linked In profile and you already have an impressive number of connections. To expand your network, I recommend joining as many Linked In Groups as align with your professional interests.
Also, as an HR professional, do you belong to SHRM or other professional HR organization? If not I'd recommend joining and participating in virtual networking events to expand your connections.
Feel free to send me a Linked In invitation and I'll be happy to introduce you to people of interest in my network.
I hope this helps - thanks again for your continuing service!
Deb

28 July 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

A. Andra Grava Allen, TX

In the current reality networking has gotten tougher. First know what your preferences are for getting to meet people. Tests like Meyers-Briggs or DiSC help with this. Extroverts do well with joining associations, societies and chambers and when attending those events - never met a stranger. (That's me.) My wife loves to meet people, were opposites here (she's extreme introvert) - one at a time. Group settings make her uncomfortable. To network as an introvert seek referrals or introductions to people you think would be interesting to meet. I find many such introductions through LinkedIn by seeing who is connected to people I already know and targeting who I ask them to introduce me to. People like to be connectors and help.
All the best in your future endeavors.

25 July 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

Nancy Brooks West Chesterfield, NH

Hi Angela,

You are asking a great question here! Networking is definitely a key component in career transition and progression.

The thing is, your network is probably already very big - family, friends, current and former colleagues, neighbors, club and church members, team mates, classmates and fellow alumni, for example. Having conversations with them and letting them know of your interest in HR can lead to introductions and unexpected opportunities beyond your immediate military/veteran circle.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way!

Nancy

24 July 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

Gabriel Hoffman Falls Church, VA

A network needs to be aligned to your next career move.
1) Join a professional society aligned to what you are looking to do. For example, if you are a Program Manager, join PMI.
2) Let us mentors know what your next career move is and it is highly likely that we can introduce you to people in that field.

24 July 2020 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Angela,
The only mention I did NOT see is how are you introducing yourself i.e. elevator pitch or informal social connection. I always recommended that transitioning service members build about 2-3 elevator pitches, based upon your audience. For instance the fellow parent at a soccer league would not receive a very detailed in depth intro, versus someone in the career field. Every person is a potential connection to a position, 90% of jobs never make the job posting/board world. Someone who knew someone recommends someone. Keep in mind if people do not know you are close to leaving the AGR, you have been in and out of uniform a lot, so this may be something they do not know know.
Keep in mind that you are focused on the language civilians use in the career you have chose. They also may have different metrics, make sure your mentioning some of your accomplishments in civilian terms. Try some Informational Interviewing to get comfortable in speaking with civilians and ask questions about network groups they use. So far you have very good information from other respondents. Thanks for your service and hope this helps. God Bless
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/come-prepared-transition-process-gap-between-civilian-jerry-welsh/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-more-right-jerry-welsh/

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

In addition to the excellent advice you’ve already received from your post, I’d recommend a book - Networking for people who hate networking, by Devora Zack. It has some very practical advice and techniques that might help you. Good luck!

Veteran

Angela Roman Avon, IN

Thank you all for the quick and insightful answers. I do appreciate the time you took to reach out and help me.

Advisor

Gabriel Hoffman Falls Church, VA

A network needs to be aligned to your next career move.
1) Join a professional society aligned to what you are looking to do. For example, if you are a Program Manager, join PMI.
2) Let us mentors know what your next career move is and it is highly likely that we can introduce you to people in that field.

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