Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology 
                                From left, Dr. Amy Morrison and Albert Ames of Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology From left, Dr. Amy Morrison and Albert Ames of Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Networking to recession proof your career

Make a networking plan for yourself. You don’t have do it all in one day.

For the past several years, we have experienced record economic growth in the United States. History shows that economic downturns typically follow sustained gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

According to thebalance.com, “U.S. GDP growth will slow to 2.2% in 2019 from 3% in 2018. It will be 2% in 2020 and 1.9% in 2021. That’s according to the most recent forecast released at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Sept. 18, 2019.”

It’s no surprise that we are already seeing signs of a potential recession. Now is the time to prepare for it by building and fostering your networks.

Statistics show that networking is the best way to find a new job. If you’re not already on LinkedIn, now is the time to join, build your profile, update your online resume and join your industry groups. According to LinkedIn, 85 percent of jobs are filled by networking. Networking can connect you to people within your industry and keep you up to date on job opportunities that haven’t been posted.

A recent graduate of Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s (LWTech) transportation, logistics, and supply chain management program was recently hired by a company that never posted the job opening. It was a connection made through her program that led her to the company. People are typically more likely to make a referral if there’s some type of personal connection.

Networking should also be a give and take. When you’re networking for yourself, think about how you can connect others to people in your network or how you can position yourself as a knowledgeable resource for topics that are specific to your industry. For example, are there any new industry trends you can post about? On LinkedIn, in particular, you’ll see people liking and sharing blogs, articles and other posts. Just by generating that fresh content, you’ll organically increase your online network. Make a plan to post new content that’s relevant to your industry a couple of times a month. That will increase your visibility and create and build trust within your network.

Although so much of networking takes place online, don’t forget how important it is to have that face-to-face personal connection.

Many industries hold meet-ups and networking mixers. It can be tough if you’re an introvert working in an extrovert’s world. Step outside your comfort zone. Know that you’re not the only one at those events who feels the way you do. Go by yourself or bring a friend or colleague with you, take a deep breath and start talking to people.

Finally, make a networking plan for yourself. You don’t have do it all in one day. Slowly build it into your day either before or after work. Schedule the time to network online and then choose meet-ups and mixers that are of interest to you. Engage with people within your industry. You won’t be sorry and you’ll be better prepared for when the next recession comes our way.

Dr. Amy Morrison is the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) and Albert Ames is an associate dean for the bachelor’s of applied science in transportation, logistics, and supply chain management program at LWTech.

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