A guide to networking in Manchester

Whether you are seeking a job in Manchester or already work in the North West city, you can benefit from learning how to network effectively. The city is undoubtedly an exciting place in which to further a career due to its business-friendly environment and array of cosmopolitan attractions, among other plus points. So, how can you help other people to help you?

University: a universal solution?

Your first experience of living in Manchester might come about as a result of attending one of its various higher education institutions. Those include The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University – where Manchester School of Art is based – and the Royal Northern College of Music. There are more than 70,000 students across these three institutions.

That’s a testament to the exciting offer for students in Manchester; however, it won’t be just your degree that gets you that dream job. Your connections could help you, too – and you can build those by networking. Still, it’s worth emphasising that you should not explicitly ask for a job in doing so; you should focus on collecting information and increasing your profile to uncover opportunities.

If you have questions about a particular career, such as what it involves and how to get work in it, you might find that a Manchester university at which you study has useful alumni networks. For allowing its students to contact alumni, The University of Manchester operates what it calls the Manchester Network, which you can peruse for opportunities.

Once you feel ready to start looking for jobs in Manchester, you could give yourself a head-start by using CV-Library. It has the key advantage of being one of the jobs boards that are most commonly used online in the UK; therefore, many recruiters offering great jobs will be drawn to it.

What if you are already in work?

Your networking efforts don’t have to stop in that instance. There are various Manchester-based networking groups that you can consider; however, which of them you actually use can heavily depend on the sector in which you work.

If that sector is a creative one, then Creative Boom outlines some of the networking groups that are worth a look. While Northern Sohos and CING are suitable for a range of creative workers, if you are a web designer or developer, Northern Digitals has a more specialist focus for you. Seeking to attend digital events including workshops? Madlab is a group that regularly organises these.

Illustrators could embrace the social groups Drink n’ Doodle and Draw North West, while meet-ups and showcases suited to videographers and animators are often available through MotionNorth.

What should you do when actually at groups?

MEN reports advice given by netwoking experts – including that you should initiative conversations instead of waiting for approaches from others. You should also remember to hand out business cards where you can and keep your expectations realistic – as, in the long term, you are unlikely to thrive without repeatedly coming back to the same group.