It’s not about what you know but who you know ”! There is a great deal in the old saying, because even though you obviously need knowledge, a strong and encouraging network will be at least as important a part of your career development.
Here are eight tips on becoming a network queen!
Here are eight top tips that will help you avoid having to go through yet another crippled “Hello my name is _” event.
1. Network by connecting others
Instead of just thinking about how you can benefit yourself from the AW you should focuse on helping the people you meet.
You can most likely connect both one and two people you meet with people you have around you, which could be of use. In his book “Give and Take”, author Adam Grant calls this a “5-minute service”. By lifting and helping others, you create a kind of boomerang effect where opportunities for new challenges will bounce back to you.
2. Your network is all around you
Do not limit yourself to networking meetings and other occasions when it is expected that you will meet lots of new contacts. You might as well bump into your next boss on the bus, in an elevator or toilet queue. Claire met her mentor in a bar. “See networking opportunities in all situations,” she urges.
3. Get comfortable with “boasting” about yourself
First and foremost, you need to keep track (and believe) of all the things you are phenomenal about. “Have some examples in the back pocket that you can include at any time they fit in the conversation,” You may have had 500 people show up at an event or managed to increase sales by x percent. Tell us with enthusiasm and passion!
People love to hear themselves talk, so ask lots of questions – and be genuinely interested in the answers.
5. Pay attention to your body language
Your body language can be crucial if you leave a positive or negative impression on new contacts. When your body signals safety, you too will feel more secure. For example, avoid standing with your arms crossed, it will make you feel distanced – like you do not want to fully participate or invite others into the conversation. More tips for a confident and inviting body language can be found here. And remember, a smile helps a long way!
6. Follow up
If there is one thing to remember from this article, according to Claire, then this is the point. “I don’t know how many amazing people I’ve met who promised to follow up but who never do. It is a clear sign that this person will neither make an effort to make things happen nor do they understand the value of building a network.
Tip! Send regular emails with articles, tips on events and other things that make you think about the person you met and want to keep in touch with. But don’t overdo it, you don’t want to act too much.
7. Organize yourself
Make a system of your contacts so that you keep track of who they are, when you last had contact and who it is time to contact them next.
8. Don’t wait to network until you need a job
How you grow your network can be crucial, no matter what you do or at what stage of your career you are in. You never know who you will meet, or when.