How connected are you? Are you putting yourself out there to meet like-minded peers?
You may not have been told this yet, but networking is an important tool that everyone should learn how to do. So, what exactly is networking? Networking is the process of introducing ourselves to and interacting with others in order to gain knowledge and information while also forming some social and professional relationships. So basically, you want to introduce yourself and get to know people that may help you further on in a business setting. Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, that idea is the right one to have in mind when it comes to harnessing the power of networking. You may be wondering now what actually qualifies as networking, and how to get started.
Networking is very different from just talking to people in a regular conversation. The biggest distinction to make between forming relationships and actual networking is that within networking there is a strategy because the whole basis of networking is introducing yourself to people who can potentially help you advance your career. The first step in networking is to get yourself out there and see what events are going on near you that may interest you. If you find any that you’re interested in, then go to them! You never know what could turn out of going to a new event and surrounding yourself with new people. Once you get yourself out there, make sure you walk around the events and mingle. Try to sit with people you don’t know and introduce yourself to new people. In introducing yourself to new people, not only will you broaden your network, but you may also get to know some new things about yourself!
The last tip is so easy it seems natural to overlook: enjoy your networking! It is much easier to want to engage in conversation with people who seem to be interested in what they’re talking about. If you are relaxed and seem passionate about what you do, then you’ve already done half the work. Now that you know how to talk about what you do and how you want to grow in your career, get out there and network with the people who can help you get there!