People that are excited about networking don’t need a whole lot of advice on how to network. It comes naturally to them. It’s like a second language to them. They had out business cards like it’s charity work and can introduce themselves to anyone like they’ve been BFFs for over a decade.
For everyone else, networking is really difficult. It’s frustrating. It’s humbling. You feel awkward which is why most people don’t like networking. Yet if you are unemployed, networking accounts for well over 50% of employment opportunities.
If you are in the job search process, you simply cannot afford not to network. If you are struggling to figure out how to even start networking as part of your job search process have a look at the post below. There are 8 clear steps detailed for you. Pick the 2 or 3 you find easiest and start with those.
One of the best options available for those new to networking is to attend dedicated networking events for your industry. If you do some homework before the actual event, you will be surprised at just how many new contacts you will make. Have a read of the posts below. They will step you through the preparation you need to do as well as lots of helpful tips for the actual event.
If the thought of attending a networking event is still terrifying, then start your networking amongst those you feel safest with, your friends. The most basic networking function is to simply ask your friends and family for introductions.
Your friends and family have friends of their own, and they are likely to know people that work in your field. Utilize them. Ask your friends and family to simply introduce you to people they know that work in your field. Then, when you meet them, you have a connection that you can talk about so that it is not simply a blind introduction. You know about them, they know about you, and you both know the person that introduced you. Networking in this manner is far less painful, and you may even meet people that you grow to like, simply because your friends have good taste.
In addition to networking amongst your friends, make sure you do not make common networking mistakes. This includes things like asking outright for a job, being unprepared and having poor body language. Double check the information in the posts below so you know what you should avoid doing at all costs.
Networking is always going to be a little bit difficult for those that it does not come to naturally. Ask your friends to make some introductions for you, and hopefully you find that style of networking to be a little less painful. And finally, never ever destroy a networking connection when you move jobs. The post below will show you how to resign with grace and dignity and keep all your network contacts in place.