Networking always feels a little uncomfortable. It takes major guts to approach someone you don’t know to help you with your career and, to be honest, a lot of the time it can feel like we’re being really fake. But that need not be the case! Here are a few tips to help you feel a little more genuine the next time you network!
If you feel fake, then you’ll probably come across as fake. Relax! Be yourself, don’t overdo it. They’ll be sure to love you if you are being true to yourself.
Quality, Not Quantity
You might think that hitting up anyone and everyone is a good networking tactic, but trust me, it isn’t. Be selective about who you’re reaching out to. One quality relationship is ten times better than twenty useless ones.
Think About How You Can Serve Someone Else
Networking is a two-way street, people are more likely to help you if they realise that this new connection is going to be mutually beneficial to them too. It might not even be business related, maybe you have a good podcast recommendation that you think they’ll be interested in or you invite them to a cool event. Whatever it is, think about giving rather than getting.
Do Your Research
Make sure you know who you are targeting and why. See what they’ve been working on recently and how you can incorporate it into a conversation. It’ll be a much easier experience for both you and your new contact if you have something concrete to talk about.
Listen! You are networking with this person for a reason, so don’t be a blabbermouth. Make a mental note of what your new contact is saying and use it when you follow up. Take in all of the advice that they are giving you, you never know when you might need it.
Networking is not just an event, it’s hopefully the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Following up is super important if you want to make use of this new connection that you’ve just made. Think long-term instead of short-term!
Text Lizzy Vartanian