Some people are natural at networking and some people quiver in their boots with sweaty palms and full-blown anxiety.
Like anything else, networking is a learned behaviour and doing it right is paramount for success.
Research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, deeper knowledge, and better advancement. Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves development and increases job satisfaction.
You can tell yourself, “I hate these kinds of events. I don’t like to schmooze and pretend to like it.” Or you can tell yourself, “Who knows, it could be interesting.” Sometimes when you least expect it, you have a conversation that brings up new ideas and leads to new experiences and opportunities.
Concentrate on the positives, how it’s going to help you boost the knowledge and skills that are needed to get a job, and the activity will begin to seem much more worthwhile.
Remember the point of a networking event is to meet others, not to get a job. However, the opportunities exist for you to get closer to a job. Ensure to listen actively to make the conversation flow smoothly. A great conversation will lead to a follow up meeting for a deeper discussion and that it the goal so that you can showcase yourself.
Why is networking essential for your career? It is an avenue to exchange ideas, it increases your visibility, improves your creative intellect, grows your self-confidence, and develops long-lasting relationships.
It’s like riding a bike. After several attempts you will be riding without holding on to the handlebars and removing the training wheels.
It’s all about building relationships so get out there and get networking!