Do you know any great networking tips? While you used to be able to get a great job just by visiting stores with your CV and showing off your skills, it’s now much more important to be able to network. Who you know could have a massive effect on your career! Not sure how to start? Check out this collection of great networking tips from colleges and employers.
This was one of the networking tips that I was told over and over again. Always carry a business card! While it may be easy to Google you, it’s much easier to pick up a beautiful card and have your contact details right there. Use a site like Moo.com or Minted.com to create a stylish card with all your contact details on it, and carry them with you everywhere. You never know when you’ll get a great lead, opportunity or job this way!
It may sound obvious, but it can be easy to forget during everyday life. If you can think of a way to help someone, do it! Introduce a great mentor to a friend, email meeting notes to your colleague, buy your boss a coffee on deadline day. If you hear about a great job lead, connect your friends and family to it. Not only will you show how competent and useful you are, but you’ll be much more likely to be helped out when you need it, too.
Find a networking event, and go to it. Yep, they are scary, but that’s the point. Choose one related to a hobby you enjoy – dancing, running, wine tasting, a charity, anything will do, and leave your comfort zone to go to it. You’ll have a common interest with everyone there, so conversations will flow, and you’ll make new friends and acquaintances. After all, you never know when you’ll need them.
Look around inside your company, industry and career plan, and identify people whom you admire. Reach out to them and ask if you can buy them a coffee. The worst that can happen is they are too busy, so you’ve got nothing to lose! If they do go, you’ll have access to a wealth of information, advice, guidance and encouragement, and you might even have found your very own expert mentor. I’ve known more than one person get a promotion after seeking out inspirational managers and making their future dreams and ambitions known.
Everyone has a story – but not everyone has time to listen to it. Spend a few moments noting down your professional life to date, aiming for about two or three sentences. Consider your skills, personal qualities, strengths and interests, and examples of how you apply them – event planning, for example, or coordinating your department for deadlines. Ideally, you’ll end up with a quick sentence or so about your career and skills, which is perfect for using at networking events, and will fill any flustered moments.
Want to be treated like a professional? Act like one. Dress like a pro, act like a pro, talk like a pro, walk like a pro…even think like a pro. As you put your work clothes on every morning, banish any self-esteem issues and become the professional, competent person you are. Avoid slang language, conduct yourself with confidence, organize yourself well, stand up straight and don’t fidget. Lastly? Have a firm handshake and a friendly demeanor. It’ll soon feel totally natural.
What are the chances of you walking into a room and finding your dream man in there, first time? It’s the same for networking. Your first event might not have anyone relevant there. That great person you networked with may not email or call you, or you might not find any job openings you are interested in. It could take a few meetings before you feel anything start to happen – but it will. You are building strong, professional connections and relationships, and that will definitely pay off. This leads nicely into another of the golden networking tips, too – be patient, confident and believe in yourself.
These networking tips are sure to boost your career, however far along you are. Start practicing that professional attitude, and get designing your business cards: think stylish and subtle, and avoid anything too garish or bold. Then take a deep breath and throw yourself out there – you will be a networking star! How do you network successfully?
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