By building professional networks one lays a solid foundation for a successful career. This important life skill can, and must be nurtured, as it can greatly impact one’s access to professional opportunities. Forging quality connections and networks are a veritable tool for all ages regardless of profession or industry. Networks should be viewed as symbiotic; each person inherently bringing something unique and valuable to the mutual relationship. These under listed ways can make networking seamless.
Attend Events well-prepared
It is crucial to attend events, conferences, cocktails and seminars. One must go to such events well-dressed, armed with neat sets of business cards, and a clear and concise elevator pitch. Elevator pitch are so pivotal because they form the basis of subsequent conversations. Your name? What you do professionally? Where you work? What key projects have you worked on? What is your major passion? These are few questions that should be answered in your elevator pitch when approaching someone for a networking chat. In addition, exuding confidence and poise greatly contributes to better perception and a higher chance of succeeding at networking.
Focus on Quality of Interaction
Many who engage in networking often mistake quantity of connections made during networking sessions as the yardstick for successful networking. However, it is more beneficial to consider the depth of the relationship other than the number of new people one interfaced with at an event. By depth of relationship, this encompasses having a genuine interest in the person, following up a day or two after the event and keeping in touch subsequently, sharing quality resources and opportunities which are aligned with the person’s interest and lastly, being one’s real self.
Join Professional Organizations and Social Clubs
Another key way to build formidable professional networks is by registering with professional organizations and social clubs. By using this approach, it is certain that you are interfacing with people you have a lot in common with. For Instance, an Architect may decide to join their country’s professional association, be an active member, volunteer on key committees and be available for major events and trainings. This visibility automatically opens such person to interactions with important industry leaders and colleagues.
Forge Global Connections by LinkedIn
In this day and age, social media had made cross border professional networking even juicer. By a click, you can interact with colleagues in other Continents, forge great networks, and collaborate on research/ development projects. LinkedIn has become the number 1 professional social media platform with over 700 million members globally. Leveraging LinkedIn can be easily achieved by optimizing one’s profile; by having a professional headshot, highlighting one’s skills, work experiences and achievements, commenting on connection’s posts and sharing regular insightful professional posts.
Many are tempted to stop networking at mere collection of numerous business cards or contacts, without the accompanied building of actual relationships. This ought not to be so, in building strong networks getting contact is just the beginning. One must heavily invest in, and be dedicated to such relationships over time; because they can indeed yield great professional benefits.