Networking is an absolute must for any professional. It is needed by office workers, businessmen and freelancers alike. By communicating and interacting with the right people, you greatly increase your career chances. How to build this communication?
All previous generations have strived to make friends at work and acquire useful connections. And with the spread of the Internet, it has become even easier and more accessible. Therefore, the term “networking” appeared, as well as its rules, which we have collected in this article.
It’s not just about finding friends and like-minded people. By networking, it is customary to mean exactly communication with specialists in the required field. The wider your circle of acquaintances, the fresher ideas, valuable experience and career opportunities you can get. Someone will give valuable advice, and someone will offer an interesting project.
At the same time, the key role here is played not by the fact of acquaintance, but by your professionalism. By showing your skills and potential to others, you increase the chances of being noticed, trusted, and recommended to others. Networking is an easy way to create a good business reputation for yourself, find a dream job or be realized in your favorite business.
You can search for new acquaintances anywhere. But most often they happen at business events or on social media. The Internet allows you to find the right people in all parts of the world, which makes the possibilities of networking simply endless. It is used not only by individual specialists. Large companies also constantly monitor the Network in order to find potential partners and attract new investors.
Benefits of networking
In addition to the wide range of possibilities, useful connections provide other benefits. All these advantages provide career growth in one way or another. First, you become more outgoing and confident. The need to look for new people and initiate communication forces you to leave your comfort zone.
Secondly, communicating with different people, you adopt their experience, are inspired by success and learn something new. The right environment always keeps you in good shape and does not allow you to fold your hands, even if you face difficulties. In addition, someone from your new acquaintances will certainly suggest a good solution to the problem or help you. And by helping others in return, you yourself become more responsive. It is always nice to feel needed and useful.
Even if initially you start networking with one goal, you can get another, unexpected result. For example, I was looking for an assistant for a boring project, but found an interesting prestigious and highly paid job. A wide circle of contacts will help you deal with self-determination and your own ambitions. You need to introduce yourself to the person so that he immediately understands what you are doing and what your strengths are. This teaches you to soberly assess yourself and your activities.
Finally, you never know which random acquaintance will become your real friend. Networking is a great start for friendship, because you initially have similar interests, goals and aspirations. Healthy competition will never be superfluous either.
How networking works
There are three main ways of networking:
IN THE INTERNET
The most convenient and affordable option. Today, all self-respecting companies and specialists have a page in at least one social network. A huge variety of valuable contacts are available to you on the World Wide Web. Visit thematic groups and forums, job search exchanges, subscribe to profiles of interesting people and organizations.
Also remember to keep active on your own pages. They should represent you favorably as a professional and work for a positive image. A high-quality avatar, posts on the topic, competent speech, subscriptions, for which one is not ashamed – a necessary minimum for a professional profile. It’s also best not to mix too personal with work. If you are not a lifestyle blogger, leave photos from violent parties for a closed page.
IN A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Business dinners, presentations, themed events, seminars and trainings are all ideal places to create useful communications. Be sure to come to such meetings prepared. You need to present yourself in the best possible light so that potential clients or employers immediately want to cooperate with you. Therefore, think in advance what to tell and how. Seek personal communication with those who interest you.
At the same time, interact with everyone, because in the future any acquaintance may be useful. Share numbers and nicknames on social networks. Always leave a party with at least one new contact.
IN A FAMILY ENVIRONMENT
Very often, relatives or friends help to find the necessary connections or work. Therefore, do not be lazy to tell loved ones about your plans, ask for advice or ask to introduce you to someone, if it is in their power.
All of these methods are suitable for both finding random people and meeting someone specific. If you know exactly who you need to communicate with or where you want to work, try to find any way to meet the right people. Combine all of the above: enlist the support of online friends and colleagues, connect word of mouth. Someone will definitely find.
7 rules for successful networking
To really benefit from communication, use the best advice from psychologists and business coaches.
1. BE POLITE AND FRIENDLY
Since networking is more a business communication than a friendly one, it is worth adhering to basic etiquette during it. When communicating with someone in person, online or over the phone, keep calm and friendly. Before a face-to-face meeting or video call, make sure that your appearance matches the environment, tidy and collected. Be sure to smile. Listen to the interlocutor and show sincere interest in him, ask questions, do not interrupt. This way you will always make a good impression.
If you are shy about meeting people, try to treat it like a job or a challenge. Set a bar for yourself how many new acquaintances you should start at each event. And gradually raise it.
3. PREPARE FOR CONVERSATION
If improvisation is not your strong point, that’s okay. Just before the meeting, make a list of issues that can be discussed, prepare a couple of good jokes and topics for social talk. Also, read the basic facts about the people you interact with. This will help you not to get confused and keep the conversation going even with strangers.
4. INTRODUCE YOURSELF
In order not to lose an interesting person, be sure to introduce yourself to him and at the end of the conversation, exchange contacts. Or at least keep yours. For this, business cards should always be with you.
5. REMIND YOURSELF
Use the received contacts. Especially if he promised to send something to the person. Do not forget to do this within 24 hours, maximum two. At the same time, it is worth adding to friends on a social network or writing an email. The first message doesn’t have to be long. Remind where you met, say that you are glad to meet you, and offer your options for cooperation. Details can be discussed later. Try to maintain communication on social networks after cooperation on a regular basis. Don’t push yourself, but don’t ignore good reasons to write.
6. APPRECIATE SOMEONE ELSE’S TIME
Someone prefers personal meetings, someone voice messages and calls, and someone is more convenient to correspond. It is worth immediately clarifying how the interlocutor wants to discuss the details of your cooperation. If you definitely need to meet him in person, immediately set a goal, choose a convenient time and a suitable place. A downtown cafe or office would be best. When you meet, go straight to the point, don’t waste your time. Even in half an hour, you can discuss a lot, if not distracted.
7. BE PATIENTE
Don’t expect networking to pay off right away. It may take months before any contact is really useful to you. So be patient and just try to enjoy the conversation.
There have never been as many networking opportunities as there are now. You can meet people at any convenient opportunity or choose only one of the directions. In any case, communication with successful people will be a rewarding experience and will give you a powerful boost of motivation.