How To Become a Better Networker Part 3: So You’re Ready to Network?

If you’ve read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, and have put into action practising connecting in your daily life you’re ready to network.

There are plenty of places that you can connect professionally with others including:

  • Online (LinkedIn, forums, communities, etc.)
  • Networking events (meetup.com, associations, etc.)
  • Friends, coworkers, acquaintances, etc.
  • School, activities, interest groups, etc.
  • Clubs, activities, interest groups, etc.
  • Volunteering

Always continue to build your network, and look at it as an investment. You never know if Carl who sits in the back row of your statistics class will become the CEO of a major company some day. Don’t just make short term connections because those simply aren’t meaningful, put the effort into making long term connections.

How to start making connections

Set Networking goals:
For example, you can make it a goal to start connecting with someone new every week, then every other day, and finally every day.

Do a “network audit”:
Take a look at who you already know. If you want to become an auditor at Deloitte figure out if you know anyone who currently works there. If not, do you know someone, who knows someone who works at Deloitte?

Be early to stay late for a meeting or event:
When you arrive early or stay late for a meeting or event, you’ll be able to meet other people in a less crowded environment. This will give you more time to speak to them one-on-one to get to know them.

Adding value to your connections

Think about how you can add value to someone else once you’ve connected. People like meeting people who can help them. This makes them more inclined to help you too.

You can add value by leveraging one or more of the following:

  1. Experience
    If you have experience in something that they’re interested in, let them know how you can help with that
  2. Connections
    Maybe you know someone that this person can connect with at a certain company
  3. Resource
    You’re speaking on a topic and maybe you’ve read a book about it, found an app that helps with it, or a website, etc.
  4. Time
    You may not know much about the topic, but you’re willing to invest your time into it to learn about it. Try doing a task, and investing the time to get feedback from an industry professional.

Keeping all of these tips in mind, it’s time to attend your first networking event. You can learn more in How To Become a Better Networker Part 4: You’re at the networking event, now what?

Contributed by Tiffany Kwong www.thepickyprincess.ca

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