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Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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Week 5: Professional networking

Introduction

First of all, congratulations for getting to the second half of this course – you have done well to reach this stage!

Over the first four weeks of the course, you have investigated your sector from several perspectives and identified how to research it and access information, advice and support in doing so. You are now halfway through this process and should understand that the more you know about your particular job in its wider business, industrial and economic context, the better prepared you are for making changes and furthering your career.

This week, you will be looking at professional networking and considering the practical steps that you can take to make the most of the contacts that you establish so that they become active networks of support for your career goals.

Watch Lynne Johnson as she introduces Week 5.

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As you have done in previous weeks, use your notebook or the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   to jot down your thoughts and responses to the activities.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • define networks and networking, identify the networks that you already have around you and how networking can help you understand your sector better
  • describe what can help to make your networking more effective, including the importance of establishing a good relationship
  • explain good networking practice, including preparation and follow-up, the ability to open conversations and the elevator pitch
  • outline the importance of managing your online profile and explain how to use professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, productively.