Networking can be a real pain. It’s supposedly the most effective way of progressing your career. And you can understand why. Emails are forgettable, nobody looks at CVs anymore – getting face to face with the most influential people in your industry is the direct route to success as a networker.
Nobody in the history of ever has said: “Oh yeah, I remember your sporadic emails in my inbox. Fancy a job?”. You need to make your face known, get your contact details in people’s phones.
However, communicating with superior figures is daunting and making a good first impression, let alone any impression, can often sound impossible. That said, if everyone had that attitude there would be like four people in the world networking at one time.
These three tips from Mashable break down the confidence issues associated with networking into easy to manage mantras, use them and become the heroic networker we know you can be!
1. Think of it like meeting at a party
So many people get so wrapped up in building a professional relationship that they forget to relax and come off like a needy, robotic weirdo. You shouldn’t be looking to rinse this person for all their opportunities like some piñata in workwear. No matter how daunted you feel, treat networkees like human beings.
2. Turn a rigid checklist into flowing conversation
You can’t deny that you’ll go into this interaction with some sort of agenda – that’s kind of the point of being the networker. The four things to remember to turn into natural conversation are:
- Self-reflection: Think about your goals as the discourse is underway. The end goal is to advance your career. How are you going to do that?
- Tell your story: Don’t make it all about them. Have a clear introduction that tells them who you are and why they should keep listening to what you’re going to say.
- Call to action: Set a meeting in place or give your contact details. Don’t just walk away hoping for the best.
- Practice: You’re probably not going to nail it first time so just keep trying. The fortunate thing is that there are always more people out there.
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Behave like you’d behave if you were meeting In-Laws for the first time. Think about your body language, take some time to think before speaking and just relax. Do whatever you need to do to manage your stress but above all, remind yourself it’s just a conversation. There’s no secret to being a good networker apart from being genuine and yourself.