How to network when you have a job?


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 21, 2017 - 6:09pm

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 22, 2017 - 11:31am


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 22, 2017 - 12:45pm

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.

Dec 4, 2017 - 12:10pm



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 - 7:12pm

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.

Dec 4, 2017 - 12:12pm

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.

Dec 4, 2017 - 1:20pm


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

Jan 8, 2018 - 12:41pm

Networking once you have the job (Originally Posted: 08/08/2016)

There are obviously tons of threads RE networking your way into a job in IB/VC, etc, but I haven't seen any on how to network once you have a job. In a recent performance review, my Managing Director says that it's time to start networking - above and beyond the junior drinking buddies I've "networked" with so far.

Does anyone have any solid cold email templates? Also, what's a good way to find 'targets' without cold-emailing over LinkedIn?

Move like lions do.
Jan 8, 2018 - 12:43pm

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.

Jan 8, 2018 - 12:47pm

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 - 12:48pm

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.

Jan 8, 2018 - 12:50pm

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.

Jan 8, 2018 - 12:51pm

Got a job, continue networking? (Originally Posted: 01/10/2010)

Just want to know do you guys still keep in touch with the alumni/previous interviewers after secured a job?

I will be starting this July in a BB as first year and my plan is to move to PE in two or three years. I am thinking should I still send out cold emails/network with PE people so that I will get some potential interview opportunities in two/three years? Would that be the most effecitve way?


Jan 8, 2018 - 12:52pm

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 - 12:53pm

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 - 12:54pm

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 - 1:00pm

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...


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 - 12:58pm

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 - 1:02pm

Networking on the job... (Originally Posted: 05/28/2011)

Not sure where exactly to post this but I’m starting my BB internship and have some networking questions….
1.) Over the past year or so I’ve developed some relationships w/ppl at other firms through cold calling/emailing (I go to a non target w/no alumni on the street). Obviously while I’m in NYC, I’d like to meet up w/them and keep the relationships going. Since they work at other firms/banks, what is the most appropriate way to go about this? As an intern is it a good idea to set up lunch/drinks after work w/someone at another bank? My worry is I set up a lunch w/someone at another firm and last minute have to cancel because I need to grab lunch for the desk.
2.) What’s the proper way to go about networking at my bank? Start sending out emails asking for coffee/lunch meetings? To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what area of the bank I want to go into so I’d like to make as many contacts as possible and keep my options open.

Jan 8, 2018 - 1:03pm

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 - 1:04pm

best way to network while at work (Originally Posted: 06/29/2011)

I'm a rising senior at a semi-target school. I have a summer internship at a boutique bank in my home city in the North East. I don't have any aspirations of working here full-time and am in the process of getting in touch with representatives from larger banks about the full-time recruiting process. What's the best way to get in touch with these guys while stuck in an office all day? Do I try to call them while on my lunch? Do I send emails to their HR department? I'm just trying to show interest in them and form some sort of contact before they start up recruiting in September. Thanks

Jan 8, 2018 - 1:06pm

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 - 1:09pm

Networking after you have that IB FT job? (Originally Posted: 07/14/2013)

I'm fresh out of UG working at a BB. I got hired as a kind of off-cycle analyst less than a month ago, even though training for other graduates is still going on. After several months of looking for a job, I took anything I could get. Even though I'm in a FO role, its not your typical IB analyst role. Needless to say, I'm already bored and this isn't what I really want to do. I had been looking for ER roles before this, got close on some leads, but couldn't get anything.

My plan is to bring up the idea of switching over to my boss once reviews/bonuses go out in Jan/Feb. It'd be the easiest transition since I would have given my current position a chance (6+ months) and I would have the 1st lvl of the CFA completed, knock on wood. However, if he says I can't do it, than I'll be forced to look elsewhere for opportunities.

I made an absolute solid 3 or 4 ER connections at different BBs during UG, but I feel like I need to continue to network to increase my chances of moving if need be. How would you suggest I do this? I used to act slightly naive on what ER was when networking to get a convo going, but I don't think that strategy is appropriate anymore. Anyone have any suggestions on this? And how would I connect with people in ER at my current firm? Or is it even smart to do this?

Jan 8, 2018 - 1:12pm

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 - 1:15pm

Networking With a IB Job (Originally Posted: 01/15/2014)

Curious how any of you fellow monkeys managed to expanded the network will working in IB. I find it very difficult to step away from the desk to grab coffee or step out around 6 pm for a beer without getting looks and comments from other analysts and associates. Should I just let it go and focus on work or screw them and continue to keep that networking grind.

Worth noting I work in Midtown so relatively close to other contacts.

DLJ Analyst Class '96
Jan 8, 2018 - 1:17pm

Best way to network if working full-time? (Originally Posted: 02/21/2014)

Hi all,

Right now I am working full-time from 9-6 and I was wondering how would I be able to cold call people at investment banks? Do I just limit myself to cold-emailing and then setting up calls after that? The thing is, bankers have been ignoring all of my emails so far...

Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated

Jan 8, 2018 - 1:19pm

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 - 1:21pm

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 - 1:23pm

Time Management... Should I quit my job in order to spend more time networking? (Originally Posted: 03/07/2016)


It ain't what you know, it's who you know
Jan 8, 2018 - 1:26pm
It ain't what you know, it's who you know
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