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One click on the Networking category tab on the right side of this blog and you’ll see that it’s a topic I cover a lot here.

Why? Because whether you’re networking to simply keep up your career/contacts or you’re actively pursuing a new job, networking is foundational to your career. I truly believe from my Career Coaching and counseling experiences (not to mention professional experience in the HR world) that networking is a major key in having the career you want and being able to positively navigate the waters of professional change.

I often come across articles about “The right way to network,” but there was something specific in this this article beyond the basics that I wanted to touch on: asking the right questions.

The most common (to a fault) question people ask when networking is “Do you have any job leads?” That comes off as desperate. You need to know more about the people you’re networking with – what they’ve learned, how they became successful at what they do, insights about their industry, etc.

As the article points out, some specific good question to ask include:

  • “How did you get to where you are today?”
  • “What’s the biggest future challenge for your organization or industry?” (a great set up for you to share your skills and how you could impact their business!)
  • “What do you look for when hiring for a new position?”

How about you? Are there any questions you’ve asked or been asked that stood out to you as valuable when networking?