What is networking and how do you go about it?
Author: Małgorzata Majewska, expert at monsterpolska.pl
Networking is about getting to know people who can help you advance your career. You don't have to be a big fish or the most social person in the world to make contacts effectively. Monsterpolska.pl expert advises: build lasting, strong relationships with others - it pays off!
But how do you get started? Best - step by step. Start with people you know - at work and in your private life. Keep your eyes peeled for information that may benefit you. Be open to others, talk less and listen more.
What are the benefits of networking?
Many good jobs are not advertised in newspapers or on career websites. Messages are passed on from mouth to mouth, and the higher the rank, the more often this happens. Even if a job offer is officially advertised, meeting someone from the recruiting company can be beneficial. Maybe this person will interview you, which will surely take your stress away, or they will be able to whisper a few good words about you to the recruiting staff.
Networking is based on several principles that must be followed:
- The first impression counts - both during a face-to-face meeting, as well as a conversation over the phone or via e-mail.
- Do not ask for a job directly - networking is not a job fair, but an opportunity to obtain potentially useful information.
- Give and take - networking is a two-way exchange, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
- Build a database - search for information about your contacts before meeting them.
- Think comprehensively - try to expand your contacts with new people, especially those from outside your current group of friends.
- Patience is a virtue - building a contact base is a long way, don't expect any results after the first meeting.
Building a network of contacts
Even if you are new to the industry, you may have many valuable connections that you have not thought of before in terms of business. They can be:
- friends from school or university,
- distant family members,
- friends of your family,
- Your doctor, lawyer or accountant,
- former colleagues or bosses,
- members of associations, clubs or other places where you are socially or socially active.
Remember everyone you meet and the conversations you have. Also, try to stay connected, even if you don't need help at the moment. You don't want to be known for speaking only when you need it.
Industry meetings or conferences are a good place to start building your base. You need to know what you are there for and what you want to get. Take some copies of your CV and business cards with you to give to important people - adds Małgorzata Majewska, expert at monsterpolska.pl.
Don't wait until you lose your job before calling the people in your industry - even if you are happily holding a secure position in your business, you can never be sure what might be around the corner.
If you don't have much experience yet, networking can be scary. You may think it is very confident people who get every job. However, this is not entirely true - people use networking as a very valuable business tool, including the shy ones. The main thing is to do it skillfully. Through the Internet, networking has become a real possibility for everyone. There are many online forums and business pages where entrepreneurs can share their opinions and knowledge.
As long as you can keep the line between your personal and professional image online, being online is a good way to stay up to date with industry news, but - remember - it will never completely replace real human contact.