Networking is all about meeting and establishing meaningful relationships with people. Networking is a necessary, lifelong activity that takes place virtually everywhere and in every human gathering you can imagine. It occurs in every market, neighborhood, private and public enterprise, social club, worship place, school, and on the internet. Just name it. Effective networking is a skill as precious as gold.
The quality of relationships we cultivate with other people in our network can be a valuable asset indeed. Networking is based on the premise that people need each other to achieve goals. In fact, your network and contacts can significantly reduce the hassle and time needed to get important things done. A typical example is in speedily obtaining the right jobs.
Also through networking, we gain valuable information, and enhance our social and professional skills. Hence the need to apply these useful tips we recommend below for effective networking that would benefit you now and later.
Effective Networking: Tips and Tricks
Put these effective networking strategies to work with conscious determination, and you would not be disappointed.
Attend Networking Events
Social, religious, sports, entertainment and professional events should be counted as golden opportunities to network with people. An award ceremony, get-together, party, or some other social function are fun meetups that can quickly transition to hefty business deals, job opportunities or some other significant help.
Workshops, conferences, conventions are another set of excellent meetup places for professionals. You can get valuable mentorship, professional or technical advice, and helpful resources to boost your career or business from other professionals. Such professionals are people who operate in similar industries as yours, or in relevant industries that work closely with your own.
Also, you can connect with new investment opportunities, valuable customers, grants and loan providers, and promising business partners.
Use the Internet and Social Media for Advantage
Social media platforms can prove invaluable for all kinds of networking, from social to professional networking. And help is never too far away. Virtually every professional group, major company, government corporation, religious group, business entity and social group (as well as individuals) have social media accounts. They reach out to their members or fans, and the general public through their social media handles. Many of them even have their own websites and blogs.
Also Read- How to Ace Your Next Job Interview
It is particularly useful for new and aspiring professionals as well as students, to link up and network on social media. It is a great place to find new job opportunities, scholarships, grants, travel and training opportunities. Professional sites like LinkedIn allow you to showcase your experience, qualifications and skills to the people who can help you find better jobs.
Social media also helps you to keep connected to past and present work associates who may give you recommendations or further assistance when needed.
Maintain Records of Your Useful Contacts
You should keep some form of database or repository of your past and present contacts against the time when you will need them. Store their addresses, names, phone numbers, email addresses and social media information where you can reach them easily. Your phone and/or diary is exceptionally useful. At any time, you may need to meet someone useful to you (or who knows someone else useful) to assist you.
Seek Membership of Relevant Social and Professional Bodies & Groups
Clubs, societies, trade unions, professional groups, neighborhood meetings and even religious groups often serve as indispensable avenues for networking. You meet all sorts of people that would eventually be useful to you though these gatherings, so make good use of them.
Join your favourite sports and/or recreation clubs (the gym, eSports arcade and yoga classes included). Mingle and discuss with people to know their worth, while you introduce yourself (without boasting of course). Discuss with members of your worship center, trade union, or relevant professional association at every opportunity. You will surely get one valuable information or the other. It could be career advice, medical recommendations, referrals to other useful people, mentorship opportunities, trade deals, and much more.
If you work closely with the best of these people, they may come to your rescue in times of dire need. Some of these people often become so valuable to you that you form personal relationships with them that may end up being stronger than family ties. Just like a second family.
Leverage Helping Others
Another effective networking strategy is offering a free service or unpaid help from time to time. Occasionally give your time and service to others as a seed toward the future when necessary. Such free services include:
- Free mentoring
- Free classes
- Helping with projects
- Actively listening to people and giving professional advice
- Offering honest recommendations
- Linking people with one another
- Offer your business card
- Giveaways and discounts
By doing so, you stand a chance of asking for help (and receiving it) at some other time, from people in your network. It is a simple way of paying your way into future favor.
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