For many people that is. The reason why? They don’t know what they’re doing. By now everyone has heard, “Oh, you must network if you want to find a job/find a better job/move up in your company/….” There’s just one problem with this statement. They don’t follow it up with the “hows” behind it. You see, there is an art to good networking and, unfortunately, many people don’t know what that is or how to apply it.
Let me start by stating what good networking is not:
It is not going to large networking events, passing out your business cards, collecting even more cards, and then going home to place them in your business card holder with the hopes of someone reaching out to you to offer you the job of your dreams. It is not reaching out to people you haven’t spoken to in years to ask them for a whole bunch of favors, and then disappearing once they’ve done them for you. It is also not a one-way transaction, where you only focus on what you want, need and like.
Good networking is:
Starting with people you already know who like you. If you aren’t good at networking, practice on people who will be forgiving of any errors you make. Besides, they all know people. Understanding that good networking can happen anywhere and I mean anywhere. My last corporate assignment came about as a result of meeting someone in a whirlpool tub! Being open to networking and bringing a good attitude to the experience. If you aren’t open and don’t have a good attitude about it, no one will want to refer or support you. Actively listening and observing to identify ways you can help the other person or people. Following up and following through on all leads you receive – it shows appreciation for the person’s willingness to help you….even if you know the lead won’t take you anywhere you want to go. Placing most of your efforts on this when you don’t need anything. This allows you to focus solely on helping other people. It gives you an opportunity to make deposits into many bank accounts which will pay off should you need to make withdrawals.
There are certainly other things that can and should be done, but if you master these six, you will be much further ahead than many.
Until next time…