When most people hear the term ‘networking’, the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end, as they envisage a large room full of people who they need to mingle with, the dreaded strategy that causes the introvert to break out in a nervous sweat, and the LinkedIn subscriber to frantically accept as many contacts they can muster, despite any lack of real connections.
In the normal climate recruiters only have access to 20-25% of jobs, so tapping into the other 80-85% of roles in the market is super important to increase your odds of securing a role. It is time to tap into your networks as the old adage says: it’s not what you know it's who you know.
Networking is essentially building relationships with people for reciprocal value. This value may not be immediate; however, making connections can lead to future opportunities. In this short article we are going to demystify networking and highlight some simple strategies to help you become a star networker. It is still possible to network even during times of social distancing you can still connect with people through your network.
Networking is a relationship game
If you want to be a star networker then you need to be a star communicator. Essentially, networking is about communicating well with people and forming strong relationships. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be an excellent communicator. You just need to be able to listen carefully and show an interest in others. You should always be professional and polite in your communication and show respect for their time. As the great Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” So turn your focus to the person in front of you, listen with intent, show them respect, and be kind. You will be remembered for it, and your network will grow as people will want to be connected to you.
Treat every conversation as a networking opportunity
As the saying goes, it is not what you know but who you know. Your next career opportunity is mostly likely going to come from someone you know and it