Networking Strategies for Professional Women: How to Leverage Your Network for Career Advancement

Does the word ‘networking’ conjure to mind awkward icebreakers, a sense of intimidation, and a feeling of imminent dread?

There’s a lot of natural apprehension and even sometimes an aversion to networking. It can almost feel a little bit icky when you view networking as self-serving or simply something we do ‘for the sake of it’.

For professional women in particular, networking can be a struggle because, although many of us know it can be beneficial, we’re not really sure where we should be ‘fitting in’.

But networking could be the leverage you need to advance your career, particularly at times when you’re struggling or looking to grow (or as can usually be the case, both!).

Here are our top networking strategies for professional women.

Aim for quality, not quantity

It might go without saying, but it’s more about the quality of the network you have than the number of people in it.

You want a network that’s diverse and varied, because you don’t want to be surrounded by people who are on the same exact journey as yourself – you’re looking for opportunities to learn and grow!

The key here is to look for authentic relationships and connections.

Which people do you think you can best learn from, be inspired by, collaborate with, and have a meaningful connection with?

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Put yourself out there

It sounds worse than it is!

Participating in networking is best done when you’re active in the process, and the best way to do that is to find networking events that suit you and your objectives.

Do you want to be surrounded by other professional women, entrepreneurs and business owners looking to advance professionally? 

If so, our ProspHER community membership could be the ideal option for you, as you can network alongside gaining exclusive access to training and programmes.

Are you interested in industry-specific networking? A quick Google search could show you a list of nearby events, seminars and conferences you can attend relating to your profession.

Be reciprocal and be visible

The more people hear you, the wider and more valuable your network will become, because people will be listening.

When you’re attending events and networking, don’t be afraid to give your opinions and ideas and generate discussions – business opportunities can be waiting anywhere, and visibility can open a lot of doors for you professionally.

As Harvard Business Review explain, networks are best forged by connecting through common interests with others rather than casual interactions.

What goes hand-in-hand with this is remembering that you have something valuable to offer to all of those that are adding value to your network – mentoring, resources, advice, access to opportunities – and that networking is a two-way street.

The ProspHER community membership can help you to progress professionally, gain a network of diverse and exceptional women in business, and flourish – find out how here.

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