If one wants to climb up the ladder in corporate world or own business, networking is extremely important besides all other qualities.
Having a successful career is a combination of your skills, your resume and the amount of networking you do. In today’s world, success in itself is not achieved by having just the right resume. A well- established network is essential for career growth and advancement.
Networking simply means building relationships with like-minded and not-so-like-minded people. The most important thing is to build relationships that you can count on when it really matters. The world today relies on one recommendation or the other. Chances are, if you know someone who knows someone, your name will come up in a conversation when it is needed.
Networking professionally has proven to be a valuable tool. Developing relationships in the work place or with friends of friends can be the missing link towards that career rise. Attending meetings, contributing to discussions and frequenting social events organized by social organizations are great ways to connect.
The importance of networking cannot be overemphasized. For those who dread networking because of their introverted nature, networking can be done without totally losing your personality. Granted, networking can be time consuming and sometimes pretentious especially if you do not relate with people. Sometimes, making small talk and acting friendly is not the strong suit of many. Nevertheless, a strong professional network gives you a competitive edge as it keeps you connected to people who know things about your career and can help you climb steadily by offering recommendations and information. As you network, you will discover opportunities, mentors, advisers and friends.
Choose the best networking style that works for you; either through coffee hangouts, intimate gatherings or volunteering. Ensure to provide value yourself and pay it forward. It is never too late to begin to put your networking skills to good use.
Some networking tips:
- * Attend conference, meeting, luncheon, etc. organized with the realm of your profession or interest.
- * Keep the conversation casual. Throw the idea such as I have to impress this person, completely away from your mind.
- * Instead of talking about yourself, listen often. You learn more by listening than talking anyway. Ask general question to the person you are talking with. People often like to talk about themselves.
- * Learn to project your voice, stand with firm and confident posture. You will be surprised how many people cannot even do a firm handshake. All these attributes add to your personality.
- * Exercise often to remain physically and mentally healthy. Read more books, objectively and broadly, and not just to get done with the reading. As you already know, leaders are readers. It widens your perspective on many different topics in life.
- * “I know that” is the most dangerous words. Keep an open mind. Have conversation not with an intention to win, but to derive meaningful conclusion which is beneficial to all parties involved.
- * If you are an introvert, attend personality development or public speaking classes to overcome your shyness. These often prove to be great investment and pay you off well in the long run.