Networking is an important part of your career that happens during everyday interactions that you have both inside and outside of the workplace. Although it is important, it can be a little tricky and even overwhelming. This can be especially true if you’re an introvert.
Having relevant and useful networking tips will help you to connect with the right people in a way that is both genuine and simple. Below are some of the tips you can use to easily network with people.
Key Networking Tips to use In Your Career
a. Be yourself
Being genuine is the easiest way to attract people who will support you in attaining your goals. Meaning, you must first work on your confidence. If you are struggling with your self confidence, consider reading some self-help books to build up your self-esteem.
b. Attend work events
Sitting at your desk isn’t the best way to meet new people. If you want to expand your network, then you need to start attending work events. Often, companies will host networking events like happy hour, team building activities, and even conferences.
Take advantage of these opportunities to get out and meet new people. Getting out of the office helps lighten the environment and is a fun way to connect over common interests.
Volunteering is another great way to meet new people and to help boost your career. This can mean volunteering for a work project, work-related events, and generally volunteering in your community.
Some of the most unexpected connections are forged when you are serving and being generous. If your company doesn’t have some sort of philanthropic effort, consider leading the charge to start one.
d. Find a mentor
A career mentor can help you navigate the professional space and provide career insights to help you succeed. Mentors can also connect you to people who can positively influence your career trajectory.
Finding the right mentor can be a huge boost to your career, so be careful to find someone who you respect and who has time to mentor you.
e. Do a good job
As obvious as it may sound, sometimes simply doing a great job can get you noticed by the right people. Small things like showing up on time, being cordial with your colleagues, and working with excellence all matter. This creates a positive reputation that will proceed you and attract opportunities to you.
When you’ve done an excellent job on a project or had a work win, don’t be afraid to share it! Don’t assume that your peers or superiors know that you’re doing a good job. You can do this by sending an email to your manager informing them of a project’s success.
f. Be active in your alumni group
Your college alumni group can be one of the most beneficial networking resources that you have in your career. One way to leverage that network is by being active in your local alumni organization. This allows you to connect with people who have access to other networks and opportunities.
The simple comradery of going to the same institution lends itself to favors and resources that would otherwise be unavailable or, at least, harder to access.
g. Join professional & civic organizations
Professional organizations not only look good on your resume, but they are one of the best ways to network for your career. You can find organizations centered around your career field and others that are open to all.
h. Never eat alone
The phrase, “never eat alone” was made popular by the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. The book provides insight on how to build valuable relationships and not just transactional networks. Nonetheless, taken literally, the idea of never eating alone is a great networking tip to follow.
So instead of eating lunch alone or using it to run errands, consider inviting a colleague out to lunch or for coffee. The small act of eating together and engaging in conversation can foster a relationship that can not only benefit your career, but your personal life as well.
As you can see, networking is more than just looking for opportunities and people that will benefit you. Instead, it’s about building relationships and serving. The better you become at these two things, the more effective you will be at boosting your career.