By: Linda Price

If you’re looking to move up in your career or are just starting out, one of the best ways to get things moving is by networking. The employment landscape looks very different than it did three years ago, thanks to the evolving digital transformation. In fact, networking is one of the keys to landing the job of your dreams. While jobs are continuously being posted, the “sweet spot” jobs can only be found and accessed by knowing the right people.

Being visible on social media and creating your own brand in this digital space can help you leverage your talents and be seen. According to Dr. Sheena Howard, this is “how you can increase your visibility, brand recognition and social presence.” Do you have published work? Are you sharing your talent with the world? Your knowledge? It all counts.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Attend professional events: This could be a local seminar, workshop or networking event. You could also expand your network by going to annual conferences and even applying to be a speaker. This helps you meet and interact with professionals who have the same interests. While an in-person event allows you to have more personal interaction, virtual events are very popular too.
  • Become a member of relevant associations and organizations such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Association of American Educators (AAE), National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), Education Leaders of Color and Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE) in which are all designed to help with networking, teaching and résumé building.
  • Expand your spaces: Join meetups, Facebook groups and other hangouts where you can meet professionals.
  • Plug into the connections you have: Staying connected to the people you already know is a must. They are just as valuable a resource because they may be tapped into where you want to be. Make a list and consider those who can be most helpful to you, even if it’s just introducing you to someone in your desired field.
  • Nurture your relationships: Don’t meet someone and then disappear. Make sure you’re sending them a message periodically or even having lunch. If you say you will follow up, keep your word.
  • Stay ready: Stay ready so you won’t have to get You never know when someone will drop your name in a room. Always have your materials prepared. Don’t keep people waiting.
  • Ask questions: Listen intently and always ask questions. This helps people remember you. Always keep an open mind and be receptive. You never know how that person might help you in the future.