We often see leaders motivated to relocate by a new and exciting opportunity. Many of these leaders have spent years building a strong professional network and establishing themselves as a thought leader in their current location. However, some leaders are concerned that the strength of their local network will not travel well when accepting a new role in a new location. Dinte Global Executive Search offers a few tips on how to expand your professional network when you relocate for a new opportunity.
See Yourself As a Brand: As a thought and business leader in your current location, you already have an established brand. Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, authors of Leadership Brand, discuss the importance of this in a video interview with Harvard Business Review. “A leadership brand is when your personal strengths deliver value to someone else,” says Ulrich. Ulrich and Smallwood discuss how a leader already has an identity and reputation. They agree that to develop this leadership brand, a person must both evaluate their strengths and then identify the audience that would be interested in benefiting from those strengths. This will help a leader better present their value as a thought leader in the new location.
Join Professional Organizations: Professional organizations are a great opportunity to meet thought leaders in your new location. If your current professional organizations are part of a national organization, check to see if there is a local chapter in your new city. Whether you are moving chapters or joining a brand new professional organization, these organizations provide a comfortable environment to meet others and establish yourself as a thought leader in your new location.
Focus on Relationship Building: It is likely that you will meet a great number of people during the first few months. To ensure these new contacts develop into long term relationships, make sure to follow up with everyone you meet. Whether you send a short e-mail or plan a business lunch, these gestures show your contacts that you appreciate their time and their insight. Social media sites like LinkedIn are making it even easier to stay connected by organizing your contacts into an electronic Rolodex.
Use Social Media: Social media is an invaluable tool for research before attending a networking event. Networking Reconsidered, an article in the Harvard Business Journal, advocates that “contacts are of very limited value in this changing world — the name of the game is how to participate in knowledge flows.” Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs allow users to share articles, ideas, and interesting points view that help establish yourself as a thought leader to a broader market. This high level of sharing can help you both learn from your contacts and establish yourself as a thought leader in your new geographical market.
How do you meet people in a new city or simply expand your current network?