How to Make Networking Work for You in 2017
Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Networking Guru — No comments
As an experienced PA and secretarial recruitment agency, we know full well that the mere mention of the phrase ‘networking event’ can be enough to make even the most hardened candidates shudder. But nerve-wracking as it may be, networking can be a fantastic way to climb the career ladder, improve your own prospects, and meet useful new contacts from your industry.
If you find networking scary, you’re not alone. Here at Love Success, we’ve met many candidates who are reluctant to join in with networking events to find their next job or get onto the next rung of the career ladder, whether it's a new temporary PA job, a permanent office support role, or an exciting office manager opportunity. But help is at hand! Check out our top tips to make networking work for you in 2017.
Have a goal
If you enter a networking event without a specific goal in mind, you might end up mindlessly babbling to any individual you meet. This can be embarrassing, and it can also give you that awful feeling that you’re not networking properly! It’s always useful to establish why exactly you want to network in the first place. Are you seeking a business mentor? Are you looking for a new job? Do you need a specific contact within your industry, or does your current business need a new supplier? When you know what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll be able to shape your networking attempts more effectively.
Find the right networking environment
Not everyone thrives at events that are dedicated to networking. It can place a lot of pressure on people, and create an atmosphere of competition. But at conferences, trade shows, and in other social settings, many of those same people come alive! To make networking work for you, it can simply be a case of finding an environment you’re comfortable in.
Host a networking event
Following on from the last tip, one great way to overcome your networking fears is to convince your boss to hold an event on your home turf. You’ll feel much more relaxed and in control. You also may have some say on the structure and schedule of the event, putting you and your colleagues on the front foot.
Often, the best way to make an impact on someone at a networking event is simply to listen to them. Encourage the person you’re speaking with to tell you more about their business or position - make them feel at ease. If you’re nervous yourself, this can save you from having to speak too much, but will certainly make an impression on the person you’re chatting to.
Find a way to keep in touch
Successful networking shouldn’t end with the exchange of business cards. Come up with reasons to get in touch with each contact again, whether it’s to send them a useful article you came across, or arranging a business lunch. This helps you get the most from your networking endeavours.
For more tips on networking and how to get ahead in your chosen career, follow the Love Success blog today.
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