Do you shudder at the idea of mingling and networking? You are not alone, but there are shortcuts to a broad network of contacts that can benefit your career.
To get rid of any feelings of discomfort when new relationships are to be cultivated, it can be good to change attitudes, and to see networking as a process rather than an individual opportunity.
The Australian public service company ABC, in an article, has described business psychologist Stephanie Thompson and career advisor John Taccori to describe how to become a better networker.
The background is a survey that shows that a quarter of all jobs in Australia in 2016-2017 were not advertised, which shows the benefits of contacts. Here is a selection of tips:
Realize that you already network
You are already networking more than you think, whether you are at work, a corporate event or just having a drink with colleagues. And being introduced to new people by people we already know is one of the most effective ways to make contacts. Social and professional platforms can also be valuable for making contacts within your industry, and getting information or tips on conversation topics prior to a meeting.
Give more than you take
Networking doesn’t always have to be about getting something out of it yourself. It is an opportunity to learn from others, but also to contribute. Share your knowledge and have a positive, collaborative attitude. Over time, it can lead to you becoming the person to turn to if you need some expertise.
Think long term
Do not run from person to person to try to meet as many people as possible during a special event. It takes time to develop relationships.
– In the long run you will meet all these people, so don’t be in a hurry.
Learn to listen
Many of us dislike cold talk and don’t know what to say. Instead, choose to be an active listener and ask questions to others. Then the press diminishes and others may feel listened to. At the same time, you learn a lot about another person.
Maintain a new acquaintance
Don’t underestimate the importance of following up on a successful meeting. Then you establish a way to keep the relationship going. Sending an email is good, but a phone call can be even more effective.
– Become a voice, show how well-articulated and interesting you are, have a conversation in the old usual way.