Talk to most successful women in analytics and many will agree how important their network has been to their careers. For most, their network helped land their first job others will tell you that it was their network that helped guide them into a career in analytics. See for yourself in the accomplished women in analytics video series.
Networking and mentorship are vital in your career development. Having a network of like-minded women offers important support throughout your career. Your network can help you solve a particular problem, celebrate achievements, and turn into an important connection that leads to your next career opportunity.
The SAS sponsored Women in Analytics (WIA) Network is specifically designed to build a strong community -- or network! -- of women who are interested in and will advocate for Women in Analytics.
5 Networking Tips for Women in Analytics
The idea of networking can be intimidating to those who have yet to take the plunge. Especially when you consider studies that say 75% to 85% of open positions are filled through networking. When we asked the Women in Analytics network what they would most benefit from, skills development was atop of the list. To start, we’re looking at some networking tips that you can start using right now to begin leveraging your network.
1. It’s Not Just About a Job Search
“Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships -- professional and personal -- it can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.” - Why networking is important to your success.
Networking is not just about a job search. It shouldn’t be looked at as something you must do just to secure your next job.
The benefits of networking extend far past a potential opportunity. Even if you are happy and successful, your network becomes an important place where you can improve your skills, connect with other people solving the same problems, engage with colleagues in the industry that will most certainly add to your perspective, and build your brand and be known in your field.
2. Give Back to Your Network
In my career, I went through an executive career transition, and I had the good fortune of working with one of the best executive placement organizations in the city. I was taught how to network, why to network, and how to use tools like LinkedIn.
And it was incredibly satisfying to see the results of people responding to me, saying sure, I have the time to talk to you about that. So now, whenever I am asked about a networking opportunity, I do as much as I can to give back and pay ahead those relationship opportunities.
Regardless of the stage of your career, think about how you can pay it forward to your network.
3. Focus on Information, Advice, and Introductions
Throughout my career, what I’ve learned about networking is to approach it with outcomes in mind. Specifically: information, advice, and introductions.
Information gathered will give you valuable insight into a potential position or turn into a new skill or an important industry trend, that you gleam from a broad networking event.
The advice you’ll receive will help you discover who to speak to about mentorship, what resources are best practice, who teaches those best practices, etc. Think about what advice you want to receive and ask for it when you are networking.
Introduction is the third step and helps you leverage the information and advice you received. If you are looking for that next job, ask for an introduction to someone that knows that role or can help you prepare. A network grows through introductions; it’s a skill to ask and offer introductions.
Remember, networks should build organically, but with purpose.
4. Leverage LinkedIn Like a Superstar
Leveraging LinkedIn to its maximum potential is a key step to building your network.
After all, LinkedIn reports that 417K unique members in North America and Europe are engaging with analytics content on the social networking platform. There are a ton of folks who are craving analytics knowledge on LinkedIn.
This is an opportunity for you to tap into that network of active professionals to learn from or post about analytics. This can lead to anything from new connections that lead into new opportunities or new skills.
Your LinkedIn profile represents you online, professional. Listen to the webinar and hear tips and techniques on how to make a stand out profile… get recognized, have a voice and be known.
5. Get Started Right Away
Within the world of analytics, networking is a constant. Your ecosystem will help you improve throughout your career, whether it be through mentors or colleagues or career connections.
It’s never too early to start networking. As a student in university or college, it may seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be the perfect networker at the get go. Networking is a skill and the sooner you start building that skill the better it will serve you down the road, especially when you need it most.
Invest just a little bit every day into your network, and over time you’ll see big results, no matter the stage of your career.
Check out our Women in Analytics Networking Fundamentals Webinar featuring LinkedIn’s Diana Luu Head of Marketing Solutions Executive and Sponsor LinkedIn's Women's Initiative (WiN)
The Women in Analytics Network is Here to Help!
Executive sponsors, like myself, are here to bring the SAS values of authenticity, value for work/life balance, and passion to the Women in Analytics Network with exclusive networking events and webinars from some of the top women in analytics.
We’re focused on fostering a culture that nurtures talent and provides the stage for you to showcase your voice.
To join the network, visit www.sas.com/ca/womeninanalytics.
About the Author
Amanda Holden is a technology, fraud and operations leader with over 15 years’ experience in payments and 25-plus years’ experience in financial services. Amanda is focused on finding solutions to customers’ fraud, waste, loss and abuse problems. She is passionate about data and analytics and the role they play in reducing financial crimes and creating better public outcomes in Canada. Amanda works to bring business and technology together in partnership.
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