How can networking boost your career?
In your career, you will often find that it’s not what you know but who you know. Making important connections and relationships can only be done with a viable networking strategy.
You don’t want that to be the sole focus of your day, so I have put together some easy networking tips to help.
I’m not talking about the good ol’ boys network who engage in cronyism. I’m talking about having a group of people who you can reach out to for support, guidance, or assistance. It is critical in your career to have someone on your side that is willing to go the extra step to help.
Wikipedia defines it as, “a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meets to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.”
Regardless of how important it is a lot of people hate networking. They struggle with getting past the forced friendliness with strangers in a social setting. They dread going to these types of functions both internal and external to their company. If you identify as one of these people, how can you change that?
#1 Be positive
Instead of dwelling on the negative, focus on the positive which will improve your mood and make you more approachable.
#2 Eat something
Being hungry will distract you from the conversation at hand preventing you from making connection points with the person you are speaking with.
#3 Have a plan
Look at the attendee list prior to the event and choose up to three people you want to hit while you are making your rounds.
#4 Find commonality
You have common ground with everyone; you just need to engage with the other person. Start off by asking them questions about themselves. I guarantee you will find that you share something.
#5 Quality over quantity
You want to have a meaningful connection, so do not try to speak with everyone in the room. At most, you want to focus your time and effort on up to three people.
Life is about give and take. Think about how you can do something for someone else. They are more willing to help you after you have preemptively done something for them. If someone helps you out first, make sure to do something in return.
#7 Say Thank You
A simple acknowledgement and display of gratitude is important when someone sticks their neck out to help you. Take the time to say thank you.
Do you think these networking tips are something you could implement? They are not difficult to add into your daily routine, and can easily help your career along.
Now go out there and network!