Networks are at the heart of how we as a professional body functions. Professional networks are vital in ensuring the growth of any organisation and such networks bind together people to help us achieve our goals. Networks can help individuals and their organisations realise new opportunities with an existing part of a network, or forge new relationships through recommendations and professional references.

IST Networks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Group

Women in Tech Group

Fellows Group – coming soon

 

IST Collaborative Networks

Science Council Forums – tba

TechMeets – National Technician Development Centre

 

Important Reasons to Network?

Gain knowledge and insight

If you are looking for a new job, a strong network becomes very important. Perhaps someone in your network knows about a job opening before it is posted or even knows the HR manager and can put in a good word for you. With the job market as competitive as it is, it never hurts to have someone who knows what is happening, and the more people you know the greater your chances of finding out the information first.

Building upon trust

A successful network must be balanced, meaning you should give as much as you take. If you ask for someone’s help or use a contact for your gain, make sure you are ready to give back when called upon. This requires trust from both parties, so link yourself with people whose reputation and ethics you believe in. Chances are good they feel the same way about you.

Gather opinions and tips

Ask as well as answer questions to create a dialogue and build trust. You never know which one of those conversations could lead to your next job. Social media is a great way to find others who share your interests. With so many platforms and forums online today you can chat with like-minded professionals and gain from their experiences and knowledge.

Respect your network

It is not enough to just have someone on your email list or have them as a connection on LinkedIn; a true working network requires maintenance. Send your contacts personalised updates every now and again. Offer up your help if you can. Meet for coffee just to catch up and see how the other is doing. Putting in a little effort can go a long way. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help. You have chosen to have these people in your network for a reason.