Today we are going to talk about three networking myths and explore what networking should be. I adore networking. I am a fearless networker.
Networking Myth Number One, “Networking is creepy.”
What is creepy about meeting people? I can understand feeling nervousness or skepticism when attending a networking event. It can be somewhat daunting, but you need to embrace the feeling and do it anyway because networking is the crux of good career management. Networking isn’t creepy. Eliminate that negative term and remember that networking is necessary to reach your career goals, your career ambitions, and it is essential if you want to advance your career.
Networking Myth Number Two, “Networking is just for extroverts”
It definitely is for everybody, but it can be tough for introverts. They have to bite their tongue. I will be talking about a how to network when you are an introvert in a future video. So standby, but networking is for everyone.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you need to embrace networking.
Networking Myth Number Three, “Networking is a waste of time.”
So many people tell me that. It’s not a waste of time. It delivers a huge ROI. The return on time invested into networking events can be massive. Networking doesn’t happen only in a large group or front of 10 or 15 people. It can be a networking lunch. It could be a networking supper or even an hour down at the pub with key people that can advance your career.
Those are my top three networking myths, but now let’s explore what networking should be.
Giving before receiving. This philosophy is especially important to me. In my business, I give a lot, therefore I receive a lot back. When you embrace the idea of constantly adding value, constantly giving back you realize how valuable your leads or discussion, or ideas really are.
When you go to a networking event, be sensitive to what you’re wearing.
Your attire is important. First impressions count. Don’t show up in jeans or tee shirt or shorts. You need to be dressed accordingly because people will judge you just based on what you wear, not only on what you talk about and how you share and how much you care.
Business cards. You need to have a networking business card, external to your corporate business. If you are in career transition you definitely need a business card specific to you and what you offer. There are ways to have dynamic business cards, and to use them to reach your career goals. Make it professional.
A smile. We all should smile because that smile can bring waves of enthusiasm. Waves of excitement to the person on the receiving end. So, smile, smile, smile!
A handshake. A handshake is very, very important. There are many types of handshakes including the limp fish and the arm wrestle. Make sure you offer an appropriate handshake and then let that person go. Don’t hold onto them for five minutes and keep on shaking them. Make sure you have a solid handshake.
Follow up after a networking event. There’s no use attending a networking event and then forgetting all about it. You need to follow up. You can send a personal thank you notes using ‘snail mail’ or you can thank them over the phone, or you can thank them through email, but always thank them for their time.
It is a good idea to introduce a point that you didn’t discuss during that networking meeting that can bring them, and you, additional value. Follow up after a networking event. Always, always, always.
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I am realistic. I am tough. I will say it as it is because as you know, you only get one kick at the can when you are applying for a position. When you come to career transition and are executing a job search, I will help you will move from A to B in the fastest possible way.
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