We are not born with the ability to network. In fact, it is an art of building mutually beneficial relationships, either with people or businesses over a period of time. It can be learned or honed further. Whether we are at the beginning of our career or scaling up new heights with our entrepreneurial venture, networking helps us to succeed in all phases of our career.
However, some people fail to value its prominence as a potential marketing tool. They either consider networking as something dreadful or they take it for granted as an easy way to interact with people. However, these psychological approaches are incorrect. Here’s why:
- Chances are higher for you to fail, if you continue to dread networking events and follow the obsolete job search techniques.
- All the more so, if you consider networking as an effortless activity, you might miss some of the essential tricks that could help you succeed.
Career networking has its own set of rules and limitations. Let us explore what makes networking an important tool or technique in your job hunting process.
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What is networking?
Networking is a unique approach of marketing your skills. It is crucial to the success of your career or business. There are different forms of networking: Formal business conferences, casual coffee or after-work interactions, discussing online or on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. Discover our expert sales prospecting guide here.
However, there is much more to networking than simply striking a conversation. We need to have specific goals about what we want – whether we wish to get people’s business cards, ask people to recommend our resume, make connections, etc.
Why do you need to network?
A research conducted by Career Experts reveals that about 75% to 95% of jobs are hidden in the market. An average job-seeker is able to tap only 25% of the relevant openings. This is where networking comes in.
Networking has the ability to open a whole new world of career opportunities for you. A one-to-one interaction with the right set of people can get you deep insights about the industry requirements, your job or even your company. We can capitalise on the recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals through different sources. If executed well, networking can earn you – credibility, trust, professionalism, knowledge and expertise.
Make your best move: There’s no point attending a networking event and taking up a side corner table. Put your best foot forward and say hello to people around you. They might be as nervous as you are. Approach them and create your own comfort zone.
Select a suitable pitch: Conversations are likely to get more interesting if you use an elevator pitch. Be concise and persuasive while describing your career. People like to interact and not listen to some kind of monologue. So engage your listener and make your presence felt.
Business cards: Business cards are a great way to exchange details. They enable us to reconnect with people later. So remember to carry a good number of business cards to a networking meet. An added advantage could be, if you jot down the details of your meeting – time and date – at the back of your card. This way your new contacts can recall you.
Maintain a regular follow-up: It is crucial to keep in touch with people even after the meeting. Try and maintain a consistent follow-up every week or fortnight to ensure that you are not overlooked.
Be an active listener: Learn whatever you can from these networking events. These could be valuable lessons fo