Business Networking Tips for Technical Communicators : Summer is the Season
Summertime presents a great opportunity to technical communicators who want to reignite their networking. Really, what better time to take advantage of vacation schedules and fewer people in the office to organize a catch up with like-minded folks?
All too often, we get swamped with the often solitary writing, designing and rereading tasks to create to clear, concise, and accurate documentation, and don’t take time to develop relationships. Put that documentation down! Resolve to motivate yourself this summer, and if necessary, force yourself to leave your desk and the office for some professional networking.
Don’t Over-complicate Networking with Technical Communicators
Remember, networking is simply engaging in a conversation with a colleague, former colleague, friend or even a relative.
Set a goal to try to catch up with someone at least once a week. It can be over coffee, breakfast, lunch, drinks or even dinner. Start with colleagues or former coworkers with whom you enjoyed working in the past. Get more strategic and add some additional people to the networking calendar who work at a company you are looking at moving to.
Catch up is key here. When you sit down for coffee or iced tea, you want to find out what is happening in their professional and personal life. Share experiences to build rapport and strengthen the relationship. The power of your network is built on the strength of your relationships and it starts with simply catching up.
Networking relationships develop upon sharing experiences. Information shared is never wasted. The challenges you face right now are probably not unique, especially within the technical communication world. Ask for an opinion or advice about something you’re working on. You never know if your contact has been through a similar experience or project. Why not talk through a situation and get their feedback? Chances are they’ll return the favor, so be ready to offer advice based on your own experiences.
With former colleagues, find out how they are enjoying their new roles, especially if you are starting to look for a new role. These conversations can determine if you put this company on your future employer list or not, and can give you a clearer idea of the kind of work environment you want to seek out. Potential job roles are known to come up unprompted during these conversations. And remember, it is easier to recommend someone you know for a new role than an unknown entity.
So break free of the office. Enjoy the warm weather and warm conversations… and take advantage of the leads that summer technical communicators networking can bring.