How To Use Strategic Networking for Career Success

I was speaking to a competent and accomplished executive yesterday when she shared with me that her career had stalled.

She was frustrated that she wasn’t being recognised for her work.

That she’d been overlooked for a recent promotion

And that her salary hadn’t increased in any significant way for years

This can happen to high performers; here’s why

They’ve often had great success early on in their career, progressing quickly up the career ladder via taps on the shoulders as well as solid networks and mentors who’ve advocated for them.

In many cases, it’s been years since they’ve been through a formal interview process or had to market themselves.

High performers are not immune to feeling frustrated in their careers

At a certain point in time, you may feel your career has stalled

Your once-strong network has moved on or retired

Less experienced yet politically savvy people are getting promoted ahead of you

And you start to feel invisible and frustrated.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you want to keep progressing in your career and attract better opportunities

If you want to future-proof your career and have a long and successful career after corporate

If you want to safeguard against ageism

And keep Increasing your professional value $$$ –

It’s important to stay relevant and be seen as a leader at work and in your industry.

Importantly you must cultivate a strong network of advocates who can support you in reaching your goals.

One of the most powerful yet commonly avoided ways to do this is through strategic networking.

According to a popular Harvard Review article, there are three types of networks every successful professional needs.

  • Operational

  • Personal

  • Strategic

Most people are great at building operational networks because we work with these people every day and share the same goal of getting the work done.

Personal networking is even more accessible; it’s informal and comfortable. You meet these people easily, and you usually have shared interests or circumstances – it doesn’t even feel like networking.

Yet when it comes to strategic networking, I find people fall into three groups.

  1. Those who avoid it like the plague
  2. Those who are still relying on their old networks even if their goals have changed
  3. Those who embrace it and see the benefits

What is strategic networking, and how does it work?

Strategic networks provide invaluable opportunities for professional growth, knowledge sharing, and access to new opportunities and ultimately boost your career.

It involves identifying, building and maintaining professional relationships that are mutually beneficial.

However, establishing and nurturing these networks requires intentional effort and a proactive mindset.


“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” — Keith Ferrazzi

How to start building strategic networks

Before you begin, its important to be clear on your professional goals

Work through your existing network and start identifying

  • Who could you build a stronger relationship with?
  • Who can you reconnect with?
  • Who do you want to get to know?
  • Who might be able to provide introductions to those you want to know?

Strategic networking is a long game.

Be curious and aim to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

Networking is a two-way street, and being a resource for others can significantly strengthen your network. Share your knowledge, provide introductions, and offer assistance whenever possible.

I’ve created a short guide outlining 10 strategies you can use today to build your strategic networks.

Grab it here –