In part one of our post on networking, we talked a little bit about the big impact networking can make on your career.
As we mentioned, networking has a lot of big perks, from bringing opportunities to you and helping you make opportunities of your own, to helping you gain knowledge and a broader perspective that will help shape who you are, professionally and otherwise.
But knowing the “why” doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to know how to network successfully, which is why we are going to help you by breaking it all down.
Here are some of our tips for good networking:
- Think small. It’s not always knowing a lot of people that will necessarily help you when networking. Rather, focus on knowing the right people who will help go in the direction you’d like. Doing so will not only help you maintain your goal, but also ensure that you maintain the friendships that matter to you the most, which definitely isn’t the case when you have so many people you can hardly keep up with them all.
- Keep in touch. That brings us to our next point: try your best to keep in touch. Nothing is worse than having to ask someone you barely talk with to help with a big favor. We’re not saying you need to be in touch with the person everyday, but the more often you get together, the better. Plus, if it is someone you really have a lot in common with who is willing to go that extra mile for you, then we think networking and maintaining that friendship is a definite win-win.
- Return the favor. If someone is willing to put in the time and effort to help you out, then they shouldn’t expect any less from you. Always try your best to return the favor. Whether it is something small like a reference or some big opportunity, simply offering that kind of the gesture is the best way to let them know that you are really grateful for all that they do for you.
- Be authentic. And finally, you need to be authentic throughout this whole process. Never look at someone as simply a bridge to a new job. Not only is it wrong, but if they ever found out, it could potentially ruin a great friendship and perhaps others that you’ve created. Remember, you are dealing with another person, and you certainly wouldn’t want to feel used either, so do your best to refrain from falling into that kind of trap.