How to network when you have a job?

esonrev's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 186

How do you go about networking when you already have a job (and are content in your current seat)? Besides for attending events. If by cold outreach, how do you position your messages? Thanks!

Comments (60)

Nov 18, 2017

Good job

Nov 21, 2017

bump for thoughtful answers

Nov 21, 2017

i mean, it depends. it doesn't sound like you're looking to switch jobs, so do you have another, specific purpose for networking?

Are you trying to network with people in the same industry or different ones? and to what end?

Nov 21, 2017
orangemarker:

i mean, it depends. it doesn't sound like you're looking to switch jobs, so do you have another, specific purpose for networking?

Are you trying to network with people in the same industry or different ones? and to what end?

to make connections that could be helpful to my career down the line (deal sourcing, etc.)

Nov 21, 2017

if you haven't already, business school's probably the most clear cut platform for that. Personally, cold outreach seems a bit much at first blush, but it could work for you. Outside of attending events like you mentioned, maybe consider picking up a social hobby or something (cycling, golf, volunteering). Yes, it's not as "efficient" as directly reaching out to people you want to connect with, but you never know who you'll meet. Obviously, to the extent that networking is your primary goal, look at activities where you might have a higher chance of meeting like-minded people. These kind of settings just feel less forced/superficial.

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Dec 4, 2017

From: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/how-do-you-...

brotherbear:

More recently, I have been selectively donating a portion of my bonus to charities that I don't just like, but want to work with. Philanthropy is the smoothest path to power in the West, so I would consider this for all of you future rainmakers. The issue, of course, is that transitioning from VP to director or MD (or principal to partner on the buy-side) requires a large network who call you. You don't always want to be beggaring yourself for deals. And you may have noticed that capital is cheap, so simply being able to fund something isn't sufficient to close a quality transaction..

The more you invest in yourself and your network early in your career, the more opportunities will flow your way. Or, you could save for that down payment on that overpriced apartment you won't own for more than a couple of years hoping the market doesn't turn before you want to upgrade.

Nov 21, 2017

Depends on how long you've been at your current job and how big of a move you are trying to make.

Let's say you've been at your job for 2+ years, doing well, and you want to switch to a different firm within the same industry but at a higher level. In that case, doing a casual networking via linkedin would make sense. You would position yourself as someone who has requisite experience but wants to learn more about the firm/role. It helps if there is an open role at the firm that you are interested in, since that means you can specifically ask them to learn more about the role and what they are looking for.

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Dec 4, 2017

Linkedin, Industry organizations ie ULI/CFA society and internal networking groups, Hobbies such as golf, cycling, and running marathons, Events such as maybe food banks and charity galas as well.

Best Response
Dec 4, 2017

The best networks you form are when you are not looking for something immediate from someone but rather trying to make a connection based on common interests.

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Dec 4, 2017
Gibbs:

The best networks you form are when you are not looking for something immediate from someone but rather trying to make a connection based on common interests.

Yes, this is the key to all virtues.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 21, 2017

Bump for more

Jan 8, 2018

Good topic. Wondering as well.

Jan 8, 2018

In terms of internal networking, you should reach out to managers and people within teams that you may have an interest in moving into at a later point. This way you won't be just another stranger when a position finally opens up. You can have your existing contacts introduce you to people in those teams, or you can make sure you network effectively after department performance briefings and at various other internal events. An easy way to start your internal networking is to simply get to know a majority of the people on your own floor and people from other teams that you work closely with on deals.

For external networking, make sure you always swap business cards at business meetings or take note of contact details on group emails sent out to bank groups. Add them to your linkedin with a message reminding them of who you are and if appropriate (i.e. after the deal) catch up with specific people of interest for coffee. You should also try to attend functions held by various groups that you know will be attended by those working in a similar or target area.

Even if you are not a natural networker, simply committing to a single networking coffee per week will do wonders. If you do all the above and put the effort into then maintaining contact with specific people of interest, your network will flourish in no time.

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Jan 8, 2018

Try not to get too comfortable in your role,always be searching and meeting as many people as you can

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Jan 8, 2018

Send short emails asking to catch up. Don't sound like a robot.

Jan 8, 2018

It's arguably easier. Email people, invite them to coffee or lunch to catch up, and then go to coffee or lunch.

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Jan 8, 2018

You should always be looking to the future and the kind of roles you want to be in. People currently in a role you're interested in are a start. It's the same thing as networking in college, learn about other people's jobs to help make a decision on where you want to be and gain the connections to get there.

Want to know what Joe down the hall's job entails? Shoot an e-mail and go for coffee. Simple as that. And since you're already employed it tends to be less one-sided and awkward.

If you're interested in something outside your organization, just send a LinkedIn message and hope for the best. I'm not a fan of artificial sounding messages post-graduation unless you're talking to an MD, but that's your call.

Jan 8, 2018

Join industry or professional groups that seem interesting and be a routine attendee to lunches and events. Look for groups that have relatively high barriers to entry (i.e. member dues) to avoid vendor playground scenarios. Ask your company to reimburse you for the costs as its a marketing/biz dev related.

The first few events will be intimidating if you don't know anyone, but stick with it because it gets easier. Your goal is to learn who people are and how you can help them (could be a relationship you have, knowledge or a skill you have, or make some other personal connection.) Once you know a few people they will introduce you to their friends in the group. Ask to grab coffee or lunch with everyone you meet. Meet with these people 2-4 times a year. You'll quickly have a strong network.

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Jan 8, 2018

I generally look at the org chart, or job postings and ask HR who the hiring manager is so I can get in touch with them to learn about their group. I still seek mentors via my schools' alumni databases. Asking coworkers who they know, and for an intro is another way.

Jan 8, 2018

I would find it weird if someone from another dept I didn't know randomly sent me a cold email or asked to grab lunch. I'd straight away be analysing their pitch/angle. Then again, as a Brit I'm quite cynical and I think such approaches don't work as well.

If you want to start networking with other people, especially more senior colleagues then you could consider taking a more indirect approach. If you know the head of XYZ dept loves playing darts, you could send out an email to a few different teams asking if anyone would be up for starting a fortnightly/monthly darts competition. At least if it doesn't go through he may remember you also enjoy the game. Easier alternatives are things like fantasy football (my company has one each year) which makes for easy chit chat and banter across teams. Such approaches also make it easier to network with multiple people all at once.

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Jan 8, 2018

I think its a bit early to start thinking about networking for exit ops in 2/3 years when you haven't started yet... Keep in contact with them, maybe try and grab lunch with them while you are working, but I don't know if sending out emails asking for interviews is really the way to go. Be more personal and try and set up lunches. You can keep them up to date on how you are doing and your experience.

Jan 8, 2018

Never stop networking. But it's key to realize that there's a difference between a friendly lunch or coffee and when you're starting to ramp up your search and begin to talk specifics. Right now, everything should be on a relationship level - only mention future plans if asked - think of all your meetings as if they were with close friends and act accordingly.

Jan 8, 2018

Thanks. That's really helpful. I was just thinking what am I supposed to say/start with in the cold email to network with my target employers in 2/3 years when I am on another position? I would assume it would be a little bit different from what I wrote as a college student looking for entry-level job?

I know maybe it is a little bit early to think about it but I just want to get myself ready for future movement.

Jan 8, 2018

If you're good at your job, every single day is networking ... clients, people in the bank, co-workers

Jan 8, 2018

How do you approach people if you've already got a job? If your in ugrad, I get the "hey I'm a student and want to learn about X industry" or "hey we have XYZ connection/in common"...but "Hey I work in finance at XYZ and just want to chat" seems like it would come across as weird...

Jan 8, 2018
swagon:

How do you approach people if you've already got a job? If your in ugrad, I get the "hey I'm a student and want to learn about X industry" or "hey we have XYZ connection/in common"...but "Hey I work in finance at XYZ and just want to chat" seems like it would come across as weird...

Bump....

I'm starting FT in commercial/corporate program in Chicago later this summer. I'd like to lateral into IB (preferably DCM, ECM, lev. fin.) down the road. I did a lot of networking during undergrad, and it was a fairly straight forward process. How is it different in FT?

Jan 8, 2018

Do you stop making new friends after you've just met someone very nice?

By the same token..

Jan 8, 2018

Thanks for all the advices. Like Swagon asked, how would it differ from the cold email I sent out while I was in college? I was just trying to think of an " reason/excuse" to ask someone out for coffee/lunch, but it is going to be really weird if i just simply say I am interested in the positions at their firm.

Plus it would be super awkward if I ran into this guy later some deals. What you guys think?

Jan 8, 2018

No need to actively network and try but treat every meetying like a first networking meet (i.e ... be open, inquisitive and respectful) and your name will get out there

Jan 8, 2018

anyone?

Jan 8, 2018

You've got to be VERY careful with networking while you're interning at a BB, especially if you're doing IBD since the hours are so long. One of my close friends had great midsummer reviews but failed to get an offer after his staffer found out he was networking with another, what some what would consider a "better" BB when he should have been finishing up work.

I would assume the same would apply to trying to switch groups... just be very careful about things.

Jan 8, 2018

I am interested in this as well.

Jan 8, 2018

Call/email is the best option.

I'm a similar spot as OP. I've flown to NYC twice and SF once so far for networking, if it is not a problem with your current firm I'd recommend getting some face-to-face networking over the summer. But most of my networking is through phone/email.

Jan 8, 2018

Thanks. Emailing - I can do that at work. If only people responded...

Jan 8, 2018

I've been setting up calls at lunch breaks or the hour before work starts.

Jan 8, 2018

Bump

Jan 8, 2018

I think you would be making a mistake quitting on your role 6 months in, let alone 1 month in. I don't think I would be alone in recommending that you put in at least a year.

Jan 8, 2018

I've definitely considered that, but I feel like I'm simply wasting time in a role where I'm not learning anything (no modeling, very basic research). My minimum plan is set for 6 months, but I have a hard time of seeing myself in my spot longer than that. How much difference would that 6 months actually make in such a role?

Jan 8, 2018

If you don't mind, what type of work are you doing or what group are you in?

Jan 8, 2018
Falcon:

If you don't mind, what type of work are you doing or what group are you in?

PM'd

Jan 8, 2018

You can't grab coffee or lunch during the day? I even grab coffee with people before work.

Jan 8, 2018

Similar position. CFA studies 6-9 & work from 9-6. Would also relish a little veteran advice. Thanks in advance.

Jan 8, 2018

I typically took weird lunch breaks. I would cold email first and then schedule a call sometime between 11 and 3. Sometimes, I would just disappear randomly in the day, but I always made sure my work was not slacking, so my bosses didn't even question me. Sometimes, people in my office would just go to the local coffee shops for quick breaks, so instead, I would just go to a random floor to make calls. If you legit have to be at your desk all day except for lunch, then that is unfortunate, but just maximize your lunchbreak time.

Jan 8, 2018

Tell us more about your current role. If you have any responsibilities for dealing with clients or developing new business, that's an easy way to justify time out of the office.

Jan 8, 2018

I am a sales consultant, basically I cold call and email. No face-to-face interaction is needed in my job. I do have 1 hour of lunch, but since I am on the West Coast (San Francisco) and I want to stay on the West Coast, I will probably be calling bankers when they are at lunch too... Plus I need to eat :) . How would you approach networking if you were in my shoes?

Jan 8, 2018

You really need the whole hour for lunch? Also, as mentioned previously, take odd lunch hours, like at 1 or 2.

Jan 8, 2018

Give her two weeks notice. What is more important networking and securing a job that you will enjoy the rest of your life or working on campus for $15 an hour? Working 30 hours a week is the biggest regret of my college career.

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Jan 8, 2018

Unless you desperately need the money, which I understand, quit the job. Your boss sounds like a shit and that job doesn't matter.

Jan 8, 2018
Comment

It ain't what you know, it's who you know

Jan 8, 2018
Comment

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

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Jan 8, 2018