Want to make tons of valuable connections and build a solid network? Of course you do! If you’re struggling to make more career friends and professional connections, you probably need to take a second look at your networking strategy. (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) Are you making any of these mistakes?
You're a BUSY person! Time is a precious commodity these days, and it's not something you can afford to waste. But with your job, job search, family, friends, hobbies, and other demands, how can you make time for basic career development activities like networking? What's the secret to networking when you don't have any time? The answer: make it a habit. "It's easy to say, 'I don't have time for networking,'" said career expert J.T. O'Donnell. "But the truth is, networking needs to be a habit, just like we brush our teeth, we shower, we exercise." According to O'Donnell, there are lots of things we do for self-care (like showering, exercising, and brushing our teeth) in order to stay healthy. But there are also "self-career-care" activities you need to do in order to have a healthy career - networking is one of them. The truth is, you do have time for networking. It might not be much time, but you have time. What's going on, though, is that you're telling yourself you don't have ENOUGH time to devote to doing it. For example, let's say you wanted to spend two hours working out at the gym, but didn't have two hours to spare. So, you decide not to go to the gym at all because you can't workout for the full two hours. Isn't that silly? The same thing applies to networking. Just because you can't dedicate as much time as you THINK you need to spend networking, doesn't mean you shouldn't network at all. "For all of you out there who are time-crunched, stop thinking about networking in terms of this big block of time," said O'Donnell. "Start thinking about what you can do in micro-blocks of time." So, can't make it to a networking event each week? Go once per month. Can't spare two hours at a networking event? Spend 20 minutes connecting with people online. The key to networking when you don't have any time is to realize that you DO in fact have time - you do, it might not be obvious at first, but it's there. For example, you can connect with people on LinkedIn during your bus ride into work, or network with people at your next family BBQ. Make it a habit, and it will be easier to find time for networking.
Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to attend a networking event. The truth is, networking doesn’t sound fun or glamorous. In fact, attending a networking event can sound downright terrifying to some people. Just the THOUGHT of walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation out of thin air can trigger crippling anxiety and nausea. However, networking is a huge part of your personal and professional success. Whether you want a new job, more clients, or more friends, networking comes into play in almost every area of your life. If you have trouble meeting new people or get anxiety when you’re in a room full of strangers, consider training yourself to be a better networker. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone! So, make it a goal to attend a networking event in your area this month. Whether it’s a cocktail party, industry-related event, or a traditional networking event, find an event that will allow you to network with other people. The more events you attend, the easier it will be to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Plus, it will allow you to build up your network, which will open you up to new opportunities. Get comfortable with the idea and practice of meeting new people, starting conversations, and building professional relationships. It will be difficult at first, especially if this isn't your strengths, but it will be worth it. Stick with it! It will allow you to create a strong network of people you can trust and lean on when you need help. And who doesn't want that? How do you attend a networking event without getting intimidated? What's your secret to networking success? Tell us! Related Posts: Challenge: Give Yourself Decision Deadlines Challenge: Perform One Random Act Of Kindness Today Challenge: Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
Networking is still the best way to wiggle your way into a life-changing opportunity. Are you networking as much as you should? And, more importantly, are you doing it right? Related: The Jimmy Fallon Effect: 10 Qualities Of Great Networkers In order to be an effective networker, you need to build valuable relationships – not only with people in YOUR industry, but also with people in a variety of different industries. Why is super-connecting important? Because, by setting your connections up with other connections, you will build your reputation as a helpful contact who’s focused on giving, not just taking. Your network will remember how helpful you were and repay you with introductions back. It’s almost like a networking “investment.” Want to be a great super-connector? Here are a few tips.