Tips For Networking Success
While it may seem like the world is moving in a direction that leads to less and less human interactions, the truth of the matter is that we still need each other, and the workplace is no exception. When it comes to career advancement, in-depth knowledge of your field is obviously important, but an argument can be made that networking with the right people in the right way is equally (or even more) important. As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Whether you are looking for a new job or want to get noticed at work, here are some tips to help you network your way to the top.
Reach out to people on a similar level
While having a relationship with the CEO of your company is always a good thing, networking with those closer to your level is not only more realistic, but it could also be more useful in the long run as these people could potentially be your future boss or colleague. These people are also more likely to think of you—and be in the position to recommend you—should any appropriate opportunity present it itself.
Tell a compelling story
When meeting someone new, be ready to tell them about your career in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re reciting a résumé. Being able to speak about your career path and the stepping stones that got you to where you are today in a way that sounds like a story will be more compelling and memorable for the listener. Add in some explanations of your goals for the future and you’ll be sure to leave an impression. Be sure to keep it concise, though, so you don’t lose the listener’s attention!
Give more than you take
People who do networking the right way know that there’s much more to it than leeching information and advice from others or pestering them for favors. People who see that you’re interested in more than just recklessly getting whatever you can from them will be more likely to reach out to you with new opportunities. Networking is not a one-way street. Keep an eye out for opportunities or things that may interest the people you network with and be sure to reach out to them when you come across something. Let people know that they can count on you as much as you want to count on them.
Build relationships for the long term
Adding to the point above, networking is most effective when you build a relationship with the other person, get to know them and try to learn from them as much as possible while also adding value to their lives in any way that you can. Connect with people on a personal level, look for things you may have in common, and don’t network only when you need something. Again, you don’t want people feeling like you are networking with purely selfish intentions. In most cases, networking is about mutually beneficial relationships, and at the end of the day, someone is more likely to help you on a professional level if they like you as a person.