Networking to find jobs or potential opportunities
If you are interested in networking to find jobs or potential opportunities, read on because it’s not just about joining LinkedIn and collecting business cards.
It’s important to close a conversation by getting the person’s contact information, but treating networking with a “get ‘em all” attitude is a mistake. You have to be choosy and be able to spot whether the conversation is useful to you objectives. If it isn’t, tactfully drop out and move on.
Networking isn’t about franticly gathering business cards and phone numbers as fast as you can and then hitting up your new “contacts” for favours. It’s about establishing mutually beneficial relationships. To that, you have to do more than speed through a conversation.
Being strategic about the people you meet is very important. Don’t limit yourself to people more senior than you. Your potential peers and subordinates are also important and will help you diversify your network.
Don’t forget the golden rule in networking is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. AKA show respect and gain respect.
Have a look at these 11 handy tips about networking to find jobs or potential opportunities. There’s also a free, downloadable info-graphic containing these points at the end of the page.
11 handy tips about networking to find jobs or potential opportunities
ORGANIZE A “HAPPY HOUR”
Hosting your own small informal event is a great way to meet new people as well as be helpful to the people you already know. You don’t have to pay for things, just organise a small get-together in a convenient situation for your guests.
FORGET THE ELEVATOR PITCH
Don‘t try to impress someone with your title or expertise. Instead, enter into conversations, ask questions, and listen. Figure out the things you might have in common help to establish a connection that will blossom overtime.
SWAP CARDS OR CONTACT INFORMATION AT THE END
Your business card is only as powerful as the impression you leave behind. Get to know the person ﬁrst, gauge if there’s a connection, and then end the conversation by offering your card or contact information.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
Don’t ask about job opportunities and favours without offering any value in return. Networking is a two-way street.
You should strive to be memorable when you’re meeting new people. The best way to do so is through good storytelling. When you tell a story, make sure it has a clear point and a punch line, whether a takeaway or a joke. ADVICE: Use jokes very carefully.
BE OPEN AND GENUINELY CARE
You want people to like you and connect with you because you’re being genuine. Develop a curiosity for others and be open to new relationships where value can be found without letting your ego get in the way. Let people know the impact they’ve had on you.
LEAVE YOUR COMFORTZONE
Even if you’re shy or introverted, you just have to engage with people. Try to emulate someone you admire in these situations until it becomes more natural for you. After all, everyone was a stranger to you before you met them.
NETWORK UP, DOWN, AND SIDE WAYS
Don’t just create a network at your level or industry, diversify! Be intentional about bringing in those above and below you and from a variety of sectors. Every new contact opens up a whole new network of his or her contacts to you.
PAYING IT FORWARD PAYS OFF
The more you invest in your network, the more valuable your network will be. Taking calls, responding to emails, offering to help people creates a strong bond. It’s important to network proactively so you have these relationships when you need help.
END CONVERSATIONS GRACEFULLY
The last moments of a conversation can deﬁne how people will remember you, so make a good solid ending without being rude or abrupt. Hold eye contact for a very brief moment with the person you have ﬁnished speaking with so it doesn‘t seem like you‘re running away. If you promise a follow-up, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT!
Infographic – networking to find jobs or potential opportunities
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