Networking tips for 2018
Networking is an absolute must when you are building a business or a career.
Tapping into resources beyond your own is the only way to expand horizons and your corporate path. Start incorporating the networking tips outlined below and watch your professional network blossom.
This tip encourages you to look for networking opportunities outside of your comfort zone that support your passions or interests. Seek opportunities to build a one-on-one relationship with someone. Also, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. If a friend invites you to tag along with them to an event outside your comfort zone, go! You never know who you are going to meet or what event will lead to a new business prospect. Also, consider attending charity events. These events draw people from all walks of life and from multiple industries. This provides you the opportunity to step outside your normal network and meet someone completely new.
Do your homework
Before any event, find out as much information as you can. Research backgrounds and look at LinkedIn pages of attendees. It is best to know who is going to be in the room so you can be targeted in who you speak to and best utilize your time. Before you walk in the door, set your intention. Define for yourself if this event is where you are going to make five new connections or maybe just one solid connect. Your intention will help you set and achieve goals. At the event, be deliberate. As you mingle, look for opportunities to introduce yourself to the people you want to meet. Be aware that people will stick around who they know, but you can’t grow that way. Look for the opportunities where you can introduce yourself and take the first step toward establishing a relationship.
Build a relationship
After making the connection, it is time to build a relationship. This relationship must live outside of the networking event. The real work happens over lunch or a happy hour or a morning coffee date. These meetings allow you to get to know someone on a more personal level and ask questions to learn and grow. This relationship should look different than your average friendship. You get to know someone personally, but also seek professional advice from them and hope to build your career or business. Remember, as with all networking tips, it’s always keep a positive attitude and keep the conversation relaxed. You want this to be a two-way street where both parties enjoy the time spent together.
Develop your business, but also resources
As with all networking tips, you aren’t just developing a friend – you are developing a business resource. To build your resources, think of industries that will complement the work you are doing. These business resources should be outside your normal circle and help you in your business ventures in one way or another. As you build these resources, look for people who can help you achieve success. As you network, look for ways to grow and learn to make you the best in your field.
Have different groups
It is very important to have different types of networks. Like a solid group of friends, a circle in your office and a network outside our office or industry. Have relationships with people in different departments at your office to make collaboration on larger projects easier while also learning something new about your company or industry. There is a lot of intelligence and talent within your own office, don’t be afraid to ask someone to lunch or coffee and learn from them. Also, have a group of business relationships who can help you grow your career outside of your company. Use your business relationships to offer a third-party opinion and to teach you something new outside of your industry and company.
Offer to host the event
If you followed these steps, you will have events to attend and several new people in your network. Now it is time to offer to host an event. Hosting an event at your home can give everyone a more relaxed environment to mingle. This opens the door for even more connections to happen. The most effective networker is someone who can connect others and facilitate greater opportunities for others. Be that person this year. Remember, networking is a necessary part of a successful career in 2018. These networking tips can help you find areas where you can build the most impactful relationships to help you grow and learn. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone and always remember to take the next step and build the relationship.
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