A professional network is as important as a pair of good shoes: both support you on your journey and help you reach your professional peak. Every person you meet gives you a chance to create a lasting connection! Of course, like all good things in life, building your network will take time and effort. If you don’t enjoy socializing, however, you may think that networking just isn’t for you. But don’t give up! Regardless of your social comfort level, you likely already have the necessary skills. You simply may need to learn how to apply them to the networking world.
If you have an extroverted personality, you probably feel more at ease socializing in public and professional settings. If you are an introvert, however, you may view meetings and office parties with dread. Whether you love new faces or prefer to keep a close circle, these tricks can help make networking more enjoyable, accessible, and worthwhile:
Remember, It’s Not About You: When you meet someone, you do not need to impress them with an onslaught of jokes or a clever introduction. Instead, your best tactic is to listen and ask questions! Ask about his or her hobbies and professional pursuits. When you see someone get excited about a particular part of their career, ask more about this topic. Your goal is to express your respect and appreciation for their achievements and abilities. You do not need to put the spotlight on yourself to make a connection: simply be a source of positivity and encouragement!
Share Your Appreciation: Even if you avoid social situations like the plague, push yourself to adopt this one brief but beneficial social habit: saying “Thank You.” Push yourself to thank someone in your network at least once a week, whether it’s with a gift, a phone call, or a grateful message. Personalizing your thank you is an excellent way to let your creative juices flow! Don’t forget that when it comes to your teammates, they deserve to receive thanks for their job well-done, as often as possible!
Keep in Touch: While it may be your natural tendency to keep to yourself, do not let your network connections go cold! It takes only minutes to call or email someone who has helped you get to where you are today. Many entrepreneurs make a point of saving the birthdates of every one in their network; a birthday card means a lot! Also, the holidays are an excellent time to update your network with news from your world and re-express your gratitude for them.
Your net of supportive peers and mentors does not have to be wide to be effective; it simply has to be strong.
If you want to learn more ways to network and find your path to success, make sure to check out the Syncis blog.