New job opportunities are sometimes found just by word of mouth. This is where networking comes in handy. Networking can be done officially like through groups formed just for that purpose, or it can be done anywhere like while you’re out and about running errands. When you find yourself in an opportunity to network, here are a few things you can do to give you a better chance at being successful.
Be genuine. Typically, people can really tell when your intentions are not genuine. So, work on being warm in your interaction with other people. Don’t’ just talk about where you work and what you want to do with your life, ask them about their background and hopes and dreams too. If these qualities don’t come naturally to you, look for some books to read on building relationships with people and watch some training videos online.
Give as well as take. When we think of networking, we typically think of, “What door can this person open for me?” There’s nothing wrong with that, and you certainly need to be prepared when a good resource comes you way. However, you should also help others find new job opportunities as well. To do this, think about all of your past jobs and how you can help people connect with others who are in their desired industries.
Be open to new opportunities. To network like a pro, you really need to be ready to network at the drop of a hat. You may meet someone on the subway, in line at the store or while you’re dropping your kids off at school. Always be looking for ways to connect with other people. It’s this connection that will help you later down the line when you need a foot in the door at an organization, so stay open to any new chance to meet someone.
If you are shy, the idea of networking can be daunting. You may want to just put your head down and get through your day without talking to a lot of people. However, in order to network like a pro, you should always be looking for ways to make new contacts. And while you’re at it, you want to be genuine and be willing to offer resources to others as well. If you do these things and continue to practice your skills, you’re bound to find the job you want.