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Networking A How To Suggestive Guide

Networking A How To Suggestive Guide

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Networking - A How To Suggestive Guide

I can be very introverted when I enter a room filled with strangers that I honestly believe I have nothing in common with. That's where the problem already starts. Every time I enter the situation in this way I have already defeated myself. When I do this to myself I remind myself that I'm here and I am not leaving and I'm not going to waste this opportunity. I also tell myself that I'm here to have fun and maybe try something new and most of the time I do. I've also said things that felt like I've slammed myself right into a solid concrete wall. But that happens and it will happen again. You get over it and you keep trying and you learn from your experiences.

From my experiences I know some of my strong points in networking. I network best when I don't realize I'm networking and I'm just being me without any predefined rules. This is what works for me but it may not work for you. The key is to find out what does work for you.

Networking starts long before a job search, and chances are you probably don't even realize you have been networking. It's the art of building associations and relationships with people in and around your chosen interests. Rather it's a career position your currently in or you would like to enter. One of your best opportunities will occur because of a network effort on your part.

On the other hand, some of your friends or friends of friends as well as other personal acquaintances may be an excellent source for networking. Hairdressers and doctors see clients with a variety of careers. Talk to them on a conversational basis and casually mention what you have currently been doing. This will start a new topic of possible interest. So fortunately, networking can be done in a variety of places and can be quite simple.

To begin networking it will require introducing yourself, rather than waiting to be introduced. I hate that part... But it has to be done. You must take the initiative and be resourceful. Good networkers prepare to meet, greet and build on their networking web. Networkers read local and popular national newspapers and they collect stories they can pass on to others at the meetings. This is one of the things I do. However, I actually read the news out of genuine interest and I always have at least one interesting thing to say that day. Memorize a couple of five second conversational greetings geared towards the meeting / event your planning to attend. Create different introductions for business and social events, this way you don't sound like a recording and the introduction sounds natural. Networking will make a huge difference.

If you're really nervous and just can not seem to go alone, attend with a friend, preferably with one who is in a different business or career than you are. Help each other plot a course through the crowd. It's much easier and less stressful to travel in a group of two and you can take turns introducing each other to new people. As a dynamic duo you can approach others as a team which will help get rid of the nagging feeling that your all alone in an ocean of people that you have nothing in common with.

Look for people who may look as nervous as you are. They'll appreciate that someone walked up to them and made the first introduction and it could turn out to be a great future opportunity.

Apprehension of networking and intermingling with strangers cannot be conquered in a day. Do not expect to walk into a room tonight as Mr. / Ms. Popularity with a million dollar smile and start meeting people at an amazing rate. We both know that is just not going to happen. Start practicing some networking skills. Make goals to try a little here and a little there. Try saying hello and a little tidbit of conversation to the person in line behind or in front of you.

Set goals that involve meeting people. Commit to going some pace new every two weeks or even once a week; such as Happy Hour at a local pub. Commit to introducing yourself and having a brief conversation with at least 2 new people to start and build up from there. When you reach your goals you can leave knowing you have achieved your goal. However, chances are once youo starts talking and have met your goal you won't want to leave.

Where to network

Attend professional or trade association meetings. Look in your local newspaper for business events. You can also look online. A wonderful resource is Work It»», which lists a variety of different networking events for both professional and social aspects.

Anther social network that has been in use for a while now is Meet Up»». Meet up has almost every conceivable topic of interest that exist rather it's local community issues, a hobby interest, career networking or just new in town or newly singly. If they don't have the topic of interest you're looking for, create a meet up and start it yourself.

If you are a parent, talk to other parents when attending your child's leisure events such as music, soccer and school charity events. You can also do this with members of any social clubs or religious groups you belong to as well.

Talk to your sales vendors who are visiting your office. Consider how many people sales people meet and if you build a solid professional relationship with your Sales Representative you can exchange information and networking opportunities.

Volunteer for a local park or beach clean up event or any other charity / fund raising event. Volunteer events attract a variety of people from many different careers. This is a perfect way for people who are introverted to start networking. Your there for a reason and you can start a conversation about the volunteer event your at.

Tips, Tricks & Hints

Tips

  • Attend Meetings with the right mindset

  • Become a good listener and listen to the person and what they're saying. Later email or write them a letter touching upon what the two of you talked about. This is a great way to follow up with someone and show you were actually listening.

  • Build relationships before you need them.

  • Make random casual calls just because you wanted to say hello. You don't need to have a reason to call, simply share that they were in your thoughts and you thought you would call to see how they were doing.

  • Posture & Clothes - Stand with confidence and a dress in clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. What you wear will effect your mood. If your wearing a suite because you think that is a requirement than your going to act and look stuffy and uncomfortable. Instead find an outfit that makes you feel good. Also, stand or sit in a way that makes you approachable. Here's a women's outlook that may or may not be the same for men. Make sure everything you wear that day makes you feel good. This includes the stuff people don't see...underwear; it does make a difference.

  • The number of people you know doesn't matter; it's the quality of your connections that matter.

  • It's ok to say "I'm sorry" when you have made a mistake or said something that wasn't correct and "I don't know" what you don't know.
Tricks

  • Ask about other people's business products, services and accomplishments.

  • Don't be a networker who has no interest in the person, career or company they work for. Find a common interest with that person.


  • Follow up with new people you met and clicked with by sending them a quick email or phone call.


  • Give something before you expect to get something. If you know that a possible network acquaintance needs something that your able to assist with do so. This will build on your relationship with the person and most likely they will in turn remember the gesture.


  • Instead of worrying about what you will say to others about yourself and your business, focus instead on asking questions.


  • Use entertainment and sports news headlines as topic starters
  • Hints / Don'ts


    • Don't contact every single person you know. Networking is not contacting every single person you know when you are looking for a new job and asking if they know of any job openings. This will defeat all efforts in networking because you're simply digging for a bone and you look desperate.


  • Don't go to networking functions hungry. You'll be too hungry to have quality conversations. I've done this and felt pretty dense afterwards.


  • Don't bad mouth people, you may find that the person you don't like is someone else's favorite person.


  • Don't go anywhere without business or networking cards or at least copies of your resume and in your car. You always want to make sure that you are easy to contact in case you meet someone who could pass your resume or name to a hiring manager.


  • Don't hesitate to contribute to conversations.


  • Don't try to make networking a sales plan.


  • Don't use a name to gain access without permission of that person.


  • Lastly, don't forget to thank anyone who has been helpful to you, regardless of what the deed was.

  • I once gave my last supply of brand new expensive cold tablets to what thought was a casual acquaintance who was quite ill and complaining of having to work the next day. When I saw him next, not only did he not thank me but he acted as if he's use to being given things simple because of how recognized he is at the venue we both frequent. Needless to say I won't forget and won't be making any future efforts to help him.


    Suggestive Networking Places For Networking Beginners


    1. Art Galleries
    2. Get a dog and go to dog parks, dog beaches and dog events. Dogs are the best people meters.
    3. Join a health club and join a class at the gym
    4. Join a sport and regardless of how bad you think you are at it, just have fun and do your best.
    5. Mingle at intermission during a music / theater performance
    6. Participate in an outdoor group activity
    7. Take a class in any subject, dance, computers, business or art
    8. Wine Tasting - They're actually very entertaining, you can always learn something new and many local restaurants have a wine tasting night where you can meet others.
    9. Take up acting. This will help you get around your shyness and the classes and workshops are always fun, entertaining and you'll learn new things.
    10. Volunteer as a tutor at an organization.

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