You ever look at those folks in your company or even in other companies and wonder, “How did they get so ahead in their position?” Nine times out of ten those people use a term that many are timid to use, NETWORK. With networking, this means you usually have to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Stage freight, awkwardness, or even our own mindset tends to get in our way and form way too many obstacles.
Network, Network, Network! I can’t stress the importance of this word enough. It isn’t that you are unable to get far in your career without networking. Rather, it is always an added bonus to have a few people in your corner when you need to draw up a few references; or even get your foot in the door with a quick conversation. Use these new found “friends” to your advantage and envision yourself being a brighter, more confident YOU!
10 Ways to Network like a Pro
- Use Social Media to your Advantage. With the use of social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and many other sites, you can connect with people from whom you find interest in.
- Get involved in company invites. If your company hosts a lot of events, make sure you are in attendance of them. Many different people from company Execs to CEOs may even be there. Great time for you to nudge in and make an appearance.
- Join company groups (physically or digitally). Working for big corporations can have its perks. Whenever you see a professional community group within your company that interests you, join up! Get a feel for the group and if you find it is something you can devote your time to, stay in it and connect!
- LinkedIn. Create an account with LinkedIn and connect with existing people in your company, friends, and even family. Great thing about this site is you can search for jobs here as well!
- Be confident. Even if you are walking into a room full of strangers, walk with confidence. For confidence is the most magnetic attribute that draws people to you. Have a plan of things to talk about when you network with people and know your facts.
- Be proactive. Mix & Mingle proactively during lunch. Find a nice quaint place where you can grab lunch with a mentor to conduct small talk
- Be authentic. Don’t show up as another person…be you…be who you truly are!
- Seek advice. Instead of asking for the job, ask for their input on certain matters. Use your networking time as a mini interview and ask away. Pick their brains as much as you can with the little time you are allotted.
- Take mental notes. Make sure you take great mental notes of the things you chat about while networking. Mentally jot down key points of the conversation then you can write them down later.
- Be in the moment, not in your phone. Nothing is more dissatisfying than a person constantly in their phone rather than being in the moment. Your phone can wait. Use this time to get to understand people. Your phone addiction may come off as you not being interested in the person/people, or even that you are bored with their conversation.
Amazing moments happen when you connect with those of like-mind.