Is there such a thing as inclusive career networking?

March 23, 2021
Aisan Woman Happy AT Work
Job Searching from Home
May 11, 2021

Seems a bit of a contradiction – inclusive networking!  Networking is often seen as a ‘closed shop’ affair.  Here are some tips for inclusive career networking, if you’re an influencer, established in your career, or if you’re feeling locked out of professional networks and you need information about un/advertised vacancies, recommendations and introductions, mentoring, and so on.

The tips are based on my experience as a career practitioner and social entrepreneur recruiter.    

There’s clear evidence that race, for example, can and does lock some people out of successful career development.  It’s perhaps improving, but….  

You’re probably aware of the Government’s report on the state of UK racial equality.

Lots of anger on social media about that.  

So here are some inclusive career networking tips, for influencers and jobseekers: 

  • Have a list of what you want to achieve by networking (eg showcase an inclusive ‘brand’, access/share the hidden jobs market, spot the best talent, open up new markets, work experience,  helping hands, familiarisation with new trends & tech in your sector, share knowledge, learn from other people, etc. ) 
  • Brainstorm where to inclusively network, where it can be accessed by many.  For example:
    • Professional bodies (workshops, seminars, local groups for members)
    • LinkedIn (groups, individuals)
    • Chambers of Commerce or other ‘open for all’ local networks
    • Diversity & Inclusion groups at work
    • Mentoring schemes
  • Push your boundaries. Cultivate an inclusive mutual support approach.: Successful, inclusive networking is all about genuine reciprocity; exchanging ideas and support. Maybe going out of your comfort zone of known colleagues. Actively supporting a wide range of people and improving your inclusive ‘brand’  in the eyes of your network.     

Comments welcome!