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Networking for Career Advancement: Building Connections and Advancing Your Career


  • Networking is an essential tool for career advancement and breaking through barriers, particularly for women of color who may face challenges in receiving career-advancing support.

  • Building relationships through networking can lead to new opportunities, valuable advice and support, increased visibility, and learning and development opportunities.

  • To achieve networking success, it's important to know your goals, build a diverse network, attend networking events, follow up with connections, offer support, curate your personal brand, and seek out mentors.

  • By making the most of networking opportunities, you can unlock your full career potential and achieve your goals.


You're a mid to senior career-level woman of color with the skills and expertise required to advance in your industry. However, success and your next promotion aren't just about what you know – it's also about who you know. Women of color are more likely to be passed over for a promotion and less likely to receive career-advancing support from superiors than their white colleagues ( Networking is a powerful tool that can help you overcome these barriers.

At Cascade Careers we are committed to promoting inclusive workplaces that allow people from all backgrounds to grow and succeed in a safe and equitable environment. This includes helping people create supportive pathways for professional growth and development - cue Networking! Today we're exploring the importance of networking and providing seven tips for building connections to advance your career.

Why Networking Matters

Networking is a powerful tool that can supercharge your career. Building relationships with professionals in your industry can open a world of opportunities, offer valuable advice and support, and increase your visibility.

Here are a few reasons why networking matters:

  • Opportunities: Networking can lead to a new job, project collaborations, or other advancement opportunities you may not have found on your own. Research has found that 85 percent of jobs are filled via networking connections and 70 percent of positions are never advertised (Apollo Technical). So, having a supportive network is required for career advancement.

  • Advice and support: Networking can provide valuable advice and support from professionals who have been through similar experiences. These people can offer insights into the most effective methods for navigating your industry or career path.

  • Visibility: Networking can increase your exposure to potential employers, collaborators, and clients.

  • Learning and development: Networking can also be a way to learn new skills, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and gain new perspectives on your work.

Seven Tips for Networking Success

Let's dive into some tips for building network connections and advancing your career:

  1. Know your goals: Before you start networking, ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to find a new job? Learn more about a particular area of your field? Connect with potential mentors? Knowing your goals will help you focus your efforts and gain the most from your networking opportunities.

  2. Build a diverse network: Build a network that includes people from different backgrounds, industries, and perspectives. Doing this can help you expand your horizons, learn new things, and gain different perspectives.

  3. Attend networking events: Attending events, such as conferences, trade shows, or professional association meetings, can be a great way to meet new people and build your network. Go prepared with business cards and a memorable elevator pitch to stand out!

  4. Follow-up: After meeting someone new, remember to follow up with them to maintain the relationship. You can start the conversation with a simple follow-up email or connection request on LinkedIn.

  5. Offer support: Networking should be a two-way street. Offer to help others when you can by sharing your expertise or connecting them with someone in your network. By supporting others, you'll build trust and a positive reputation which can lead to future opportunities.

  6. Curate your personal brand: Your personal brand is how you present yourself to the world. Make sure that your online presence, including your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and highlights your strengths and accomplishments.

  7. Seek out mentors: Mentors can provide valuable guidance and support as you navigate your career. Choose mentors who have experience in your field and have achieved the type of success you aspire to attain. Maintain the relationship by keeping them informed of your career wins and thanking them for their guidance.

Remember, networking is a key to unlocking your full career potential. By knowing your goals, building a diverse network, attending events, following up, being a giver, building your personal brand, and seeking out mentors, you can make the most of your networking opportunities and achieve your goals.


We want to hear from you. How has networking helped advance your career? Email your stories to

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Cascade Careers is on a mission to cultivate diverse and inclusive workplaces that allow people from all backgrounds to grow and succeed in safe and equitable environments.




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