“Tis better to give, than receive.” This is a common phrase heard in regard to giving a gift or helping someone, but not very often when networking to get a new career. Most people who attempt to network have the same attitude, “What’s in it for me?” However, if you really want to get the most out of networking and all it has to offer, perhaps the first question you should ask is, “What can you do for others?”
Networking is both art and science – mastering it takes a bit of time and effort, but in the long run, it will pay off when trying to find your place in the career field you have chosen.
Visit as a Guest – Not a Salesman
Are you planning on attending a job fair? Visiting a former colleague’s party? Both of these opportunities are the ideal time to create a few new connections.
The last thing you want to do in this situation is try to ‘sell’ yourself. The key here is to introduce yourself and work in a few of your best features to the person or people you meet. Don’t automatically ‘go for the kill’ by immediately asking for a job or inquiring about a job opening. This is uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Does your sister’s husband work for a high-end firm where you know you would be a great addition to the team? Instead of coming right out and asking him for a connection or recommendation, think about what you can do for them. Do you know someone in the business world that may be beneficial for their needs? Regardless of the end goal, giving first will make someone opening up their network to you much easier.
When you do finally meet someone, be sure to listen. Listening will help you earn their trust. Also, introduce them to others people in your network, who may be vital to overcoming their business challenges. Take some time to email an article you think they may find helpful. Taking the time to notice what they do and then offering valuable information will provide a new network connection, as well as a new relationship.
Make an Effort
Networking is not all about you. It is about others and how you can help them. Eventually it will turn into how they can help you, as well. If you want to gain more people in your network, then making an effort is essential.
Don’t Give Up
Networking takes time. Even if you give and give and give, it does not mean you will see instant returns. You must be consistent and patient. People have to have the opportunity to get to know you and what you offer. This means that you need to ensure you are seen again and again.
If you never follow up, chances are you will be engulfed in the giant black hole of unfulfilled career goals. However, with time, effort and patience you can make the most of any networking you do.
Getting the career you really want can be a challenge. Networking, and the help of Integrity Staffing Professionals, can be invaluable during this process. Contact us today to learn more!