You know how it is when you enter a cocktail party, beautifully dressed in a gorgeous dress with sky high Louboutins and a smile to match – and you get that sinking feeling that you don’t know anyone. Well, worry about it no longer, here’s a quick primer on networking – that most underrated of skills.
Every job has it’s moments of awesomeness where creative ideas are applauded and multi-tasking gets a high-five. But have you also realised how it’s also often about who you know!
Networking is actually damn easy. Know the right people to clink your champagne glass with, and you could pretty much land yourself that dream job and the ideal client. So wait no further, just follow these six essential tips and start networking like a pro!
Meet the Right People at the Right Places
First things first. Take a look at your career and identify the networking industry events that you’d enjoy. They don’t all need to be serious, career-market type affairs, try looking out for social events (well, like parties!!) that get you visibility and help you genuinely connect with people.
Do Your Homework
Know your audience, know your fellow networkers and also, know what you really want. The ideal networker makes sure she goes further than just skimming the crowd at a party, she makes sure she volunteers to do some public speaking, take on board positions and organise similar events in the near future.
Be a Social Catalyst
Bring people together for a party or a weekend brunch. Be generous with introducing friends to other friends, and friends will reciprocate. When you meet someone interesting, be proactive and arrange to meet for a coffee shortly afterwards. With social media platforms, you can now meet people through Twitter or Facebook, these social networks really do help us find other people who share our interests.
Building Genuine Relationships
Networking needs to be well managed – that means it’s not something you do for a bit and when your needs are fulfilled, you’re out. Maintain relationships. When juggling long working hours and family commitments, the window for networking can get smaller. So stay in touch on your social networks with a smartphone.
Invest in your Contacts
Build your credibility by letting people know you are good at what you do. Develop relationships above business interests and bond over areas of mutual personal interest. Send a thank-you note or call them to see how they are. Do share their links on Facebook, favourite their tweets, like their posts on Instagram. Keep in contact with no agenda other than keeping in touch.
Give and Give
Giving is the unspoken rule of networking. Put your contacts in touch with other contacts to help them and endorse them. Return phone calls if you want yours returned. Give advice when asked. Write recommendations. Listen to their problems when they just need someone to talk to. Fortune favours the givers!
Published on Estylista on October 28th, 2013