NetworkingFeb 17, 2021
We hear about the importance of networking and the various networking events we should be attending to get the job, move up the career ladder, get into the consulting gig, or boost our business. Let’s look at what this means and why it’s important.
Why Is It Important
Did you ever fall in with the wrong crowd growing up or know someone who did? Who we surround ourselves with and who we choose to spend time with has a huge impact on our lives. Thankfully, it’s just as true when you choose the right people to help you succeed.
Meeting the right people can help you see what you’re capable of and adjust your goals accordingly. Knowing the right people can help you get an introduction or recommendation that helps you get the job or tap into a new market. Spending time with the right people can be highly motivating, and you may just get the info you need to take the next step towards your big goal.
How To Get Started
The best place to start is to network with events that are already happening. No need to reinvent the wheel. Check with your local chamber of commerce on what types of events are available in your area. Attend a trade show or conference. Find a group on campus that shares your interest.
Tapping into your existing network can also help. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to see if they can introduce you to new people. Be friendly and do what you can to make a good first impression when you meet new people.
Improving Your Skills
One of the best ways to improve your networking skills is to work on shifting your focus. It’s easy to reach out to someone and try to get them to help you. Sadly, that isn’t the most productive strategy. We tend to do things for our benefit and to advance our agenda.
Instead, approach each new meeting and event with an attitude of looking for a way to help the other person. Start with what you can do for them and build some goodwill. Work on establishing the relationship first before ever bringing up what they can do for you. It’s counterintuitive but a powerful way to improve your networking, as well as get what you want and need in the end.