SO many jobseekers are avid about getting new careers, have great career documents, interview very well, but then it happens. They do not get the opportunity that they were seeking. Many may not know that its not about what you know, but who you know.
That’s how many happy employees get and remain happy! Someone saw an opportunity that they wanted, opened their mouth, communicated effectively and boom: an internship, a career, a grant, a scholarship, a study abroad opportunity. For some of us, it can be quite scary. Believe me, I’ve been there. I am quite the introvert so I used to be the Vice President of this. However, below are five tips to ensure a smoother networking experience:
Get Over It!
Recognize that the opportunity is out there and it won’t get itself. Let your mind settle on the fact that in most cases, you must network to get what you want in life.
Get Active on LinkedIn
Get past simply making a profile because your coworker said that its good for you to have one and then letting it sit. LinkedIn contains 500 million users and continues to grow day by day. Be active by joining groups, posting content consistently, and adding people who you find interesting.
Join Industry Organizations
Be willing to join and BE ACTIVE in organizations that pertain to your current role or roles that you are eyeing. Also, join minority/specialty organizations that are within your industry. For example, if you are a woman and a business owner, it would make sense to join the local NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) chapter.
Attend Industry Conferences and Events
Once in these organizations, build your contact list by attending conferences and events to network with like-minded peers in your industry. Even if the conference is cross country or out of your element, that’s an even better way to meet others and expand your experiences!
Do this especially if you are on LinkedIn. If you have a common person, interest, school, or company that you share with a person, bring that up in the initial conversation to break the ice. After that, the conversation may tend to flow more organically.
Send a brief but touching email or phone call two to three days after meeting or connecting with a person. During the holidays, send another email or make another call to keep a relationship with the person. Thus, should there come a time where you would need them for an opportunity, you are not coming out of the blue. People do not like to feel used.
Networking is the tried and true way of getting want you want and building relationships in the end. But, there’s a method to doing it right. Remember to always be genuine in your dealings with others. Folks can innately spot out a fake person. What has your experience been with building relationships? What style works best for you? Comment below!