Because learning to network is essential to building your dream career.
Learning to network in today’s competitive work environment is essential to creating your dream career, as seventy percent of all jobs are obtained through networking. Networking done right creates lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial and can create opportunities beyond your imagination. Introvert or extrovert – anyone can learn the tricks of the trade.
Here are five key tips to network your way to wherever you want to go, from Lee Yarborough at the College to Career program at Antioch University (that you can learn more about here).
1. Be Genuine and Sincere
As Lee points out, networking is all about creating and maintaining relationships. Therefore, you have to be real and actually invest in the relationship – so be yourself!
2. Talk to Strangers
Don’t listen your mom. Listen to people and find out what links you might have to them. Shake hands, look the other person in the eye, and smile. As Plato said, “you can learn more by observing someone in an hour of play than in a lifetime of work, we’re going to play”.
3. Create Your “Elevator Pitch”
You never know when you might bump into someone that holds the key to the golden door. Therefore, always be prepared. One easy thing to do, to make sure you can always make a great first impression, is to create your “elevator pitch”. In a few sentences, answer: who are you, what makes you stand out, what are your credentials and what do you want to do, in this one wild and precious life of yours?
4. Use Social Media To Your Benefit
You decide how you present yourself to potential employers on Social Media, so you might as well be smart about it. Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to communicate who you are, in a clever and real way. Drop the latest party picture and show how you are active in the community or what you engage in culturally, to name a few. Research potential employers and industries you are interested in. Be engaged!
5. Be in The Arena
Seek out the action. Be proactive. Attend seminars, events and gatherings where you can meet people in the industry you want to work in, a company you are interested in, or a local meet up for a hobby you might have. You never know whom you might meet and what relationships might form. What opportunities might come?
So, bring your genuine smiling self, your elevator pitch and talk to strangers at the next event hosted by your company of interest. Who know what doors might open up?