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5 Networking Tips for Any Stage in Your Career

Networking has immense value for your career and life long after you've secured a job. Paige Corin (Tidewater Finance) shares her tips for making connections throughout your career.


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Young professionals are constantly told to network. It’s an ideal way to make connections that will serve you throughout your career and perhaps even help you secure your first job. But it is just as important to continue networking through all stages of your working life. It’s beneficial not only to your career but to you as a person. 


I’ve spent 22 years working at Tidewater Finance, a small company where it would be easy for me to settle in and get comfortable. And for a while, I did. I didn’t form relationships with anyone outside the company for a long time. I mostly spoke with those inside my company or my close group of friends.


It wasn’t until I did a bit of accidental networking that I realized how much smaller my circle had become – and how much good could come from expanding it. 

At Tidewater, I worked for many years with a temporary staffing agency to help fill open positions. I connected with our representative over that time. She eventually moved on to a new opportunity with a career transition program for the US. Special Operations Forces. This is a cause close to my heart as a Navy veteran. Our connection naturally led me to take volunteer opportunities with her new organization, which has been incredibly rewarding and expanded my circle.


That experience showed me that networking isn’t just a way to advance your early career. I started to see it as a way to create a fuller life for myself as a professional, a veteran, and a member of my community. 


Since then, I’ve made a conscious effort to include networking in my regular routine.


Here are my top tips to ensure you never stop networking. 

  1. Reach out to someone every day. 


    Personally, I use LinkedIn for these communications. I also connect with my team from WCF and some former colleagues. Simply sharing an inspirational quote or just checking in with someone goes a surprisingly long way.

  2. Don’t limit your networking to traditional business scenarios. 


    Be open to connection wherever you go. Talk to the people you see at the gym each week or the other parents at your child’s soccer game. Any relationship can open up a whole new series of opportunities. Connections can come up where you least expect them. 

  3. Keep an eye out for links between yourself and others. 


    Whether or not you share an industry with someone, you might be surprised by how much you have in common. Look for what connects you with those around you, such as your hometown or favorite sports teams. I learned that I share a birthday with my favorite barista at a local Starbucks. This simple link made us even more memorable to each other and opened the door to additional conversations.

  4. Work on your weaknesses. 


    This can be a great way to put yourself out there while developing a new skill. For example, if public speaking (or even leading a meeting) isn’t your strong suit, try Toastmasters. If your sales skills are lacking, find a salesperson you admire and ask to shadow them. Attending workshops or webinars in an area you’d like to improve upon can also help you to meet others and find accountability partners. 

  5. Volunteer. 


    Volunteering for a cause you care about is a great way to meet people with similar values, which can help you both in business and in life. My experiences volunteering with Special Forces veterans have fulfilled me in a way I didn’t know I was missing.

Networking – in all its forms – transcends career stages. It isn't confined to boardrooms or industry events; it's about cultivating genuine connections and opening doors wherever you go. So, whether you're a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, don't underestimate the importance of networking in creating a fulfilling and connected life.


Keep your networking going by joining us for WCF 2024! This year's event will take place in Fort Worth Texas from November 11-13. Sign up here.