5 Tips For Better NetworkingPosted: 3rd of April 2015 by
Networking is an everyday part of business – making and building relationships has always been part of human society – yet when it is applied to work there is a certain scepticism. Perhaps it is the notion that networking is just a short step away from nepotism, and that networking is often associated with cold self-promotion, fake smiles, and small talk. However, networking needn’t be a negative and, when done correctly, it can be create real and meaningful relationships that can significantly improve your working life.
If you are unsure about networking, or find it difficult, these tips might just help you to make the right contacts in the right way.
1. First Impressions Count
OK, it’s a cliché, but it is also true that first impressions count, so don’t leave it to chance. It may sound odd to talk about creating a first impression but the fact that your first impression is more important than the next 200 meetings you have with a person should drive home the importance. Take a deep breath, relax, and present the best version of yourself possible. Remember how you were told to be on your best behaviour as a child? It’s sort of like that, but for grown-ups.
2. Be Yourself
While you are being a super-nice version of yourself, don’t forget to actually BE yourself too. Don’t try to be someone you are not or make boastful claims that are not true. However, it is not just about what you say, when it comes to the actually networking it is also how you say it. For example, if you are a quiet person, listen. Don’t try to be an extrovert. If you can tailor the meeting to suit you – maybe arranging to catch up later – then you are more likely to be relaxed and create a more meaningful connection.
3. Stay Rare
Like with a successful social life, the key is in not being too available. If you are at every party, your friends won’t miss you, and it is the same for networking events. You only need to attend those that you feel will benefit you and your goals. Staying selective will mean you won’t get burnt out and will be on better form at the few you attend.
4. Do The Research
Again, if you are going to events with the goal of networking it is worth trying to find out who will be there before you go. You don’t want to waste your precious time when you could instead be meeting the right sort of people. If you can find similarities (age, same job sector, school, etc) then that will help you relax too.
You may be desperate to tell everyone about how great you are, and what you can do to help them – but resist the urge. Instead focus on listening to others and offer thoughtful and constructive comments. People love it when they can speak about themselves, thoughts, or ideas – so let your networking contacts do exactly that. Of course, you can offer insight into what you do too, but you should try to listen more than you talk!
Networking may feel forced or awkward, but If you pay attention and try to find common grounds it needn’t be a chore. You never know, you might make some real friends too!
You might also like:
Feel Tired? Beating The Mid-Afternoon Slump
Overcome Your Fears and Create The Future You Want
Want Your Employer To Sponsor Your Degree? These 5 Steps May Help!
When you are looking for an apprenticeship, or your first job, it’s probable that most of your attention will be focused on landing the role. ...
Applying for an apprenticeship can be a very competitive process and many organisations use video interviews as an initial screening process. Most...