Are you looking to move from a plant level job to a corporate food & beverage position?

Are you a food scientist who wants to move up the ladder and become a VP of R & D?

Whatever your career aspirations, networking can help you achieve your goals.  If you want to get promoted, or change careers within the food & beverage industry, use these tips from Kinsa to develop more effective business relationships and land the job you want:

Set networking goals.  Create a plan for networking to focus your activities and keep yourself on track.  Find out which meetings, committees or volunteering activities are most likely to put you in touch with the right people, and then commit to attending and participating.  The more you are “out there,” the greater your opportunity to meet that one person who will connect you with the ideal job.

Know who you need to know.  Learn about the company’s organizational structure and identify those key influential, respected executives who have the ability to put you in the position you desire.  Once you determine exactly who you need to know, find a way to get face time with those people:  ask for introductions; offer to buy coffee; volunteer to serve on committees they spearhead; request them as mentors.  Engage in positive, productive activities that will put you one step closer to the opportunity you want.

Ask open-ended questions.  Networking is all about learning how you and your connection can help one another.  As you meet new people, uncover potential opportunities by asking “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why” questions – as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”  Open-ended questions literally open up your discussions and show listeners that you are truly interested in them.

Offer help.  Business relationships are a lot like bank accounts – you have to make relationship “deposits” before you can make “withdrawals.”  Use the simple technique of offering assistance to those you meet – and follow through – to get the relationship started on a positive note.  When you help a professional contact first (i.e., before asking for something in return), that help is much more likely to be reciprocated.

Never underestimate the potential value of a connection.  Although most of the individuals you meet while networking will not lead you directly to your desired job, don’t discount their value.  These first generation connections may be able to introduce you to the people you really need to know.  Take the time to investigate every networking lead – you never know how, where or through whom that one critical introduction will be made.

Avoid office politics.  Networking  depends on great communication.  That communication, however, should not include petty office gossip.  As you develop new work relationships, make a conscious effort to speak positively about others; if you don’t have something favorable to say, it’s best to say nothing at all.

At the end of the day, landing your dream job is often as much about who you know as what you know.  With over 25 years in food & beverage recruiting, Kinsa has a vast network of relationships with the industry’s top employers.  We have the drive, experience and contacts to match you with your ideal food & beverage executive or management position.    Get started with Kinsa today or search food & beverage executive and professional jobs here.

2 Responses to “Networking Your Way to a New Job – How to Network Your Way up the Ladder Like a Pro!”

  1. Charles Morgan

    I think, this is a first rate article which needs to be read by many people. There is also the question of what I call, “social timing.” Don´t be crass, be diplomatic, don´t expect people to see you on a late Friday afternoon, be culturally sensitive too. Have a few business cards in your wallet or handbag too. It might be a few weeks or months before somebody you have met remembers you and wants to get in touch with you. Without your card they might not be able to do so.

    • Joan

      Thank you, Charles, for your input. I too always carry business cards with me – out to dinner, shopping, at local events or school functions. I never know when I’ll run into someone with expertise or connections in my industry. It’s obviously not going to be a good time to have that in-depth conversation at the baseball game, but a business card and an invite for a conversation at a later date is usually welcomed.

      Laurie Hyllberg, Vice President, Kinsa Group


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