What really is the point of Networking?
Networking may not always be our number one priority. It can be time consuming and even awkward at times. After a long busy week, you’d probably want to relax and get as far away from work as possible.
However, networking is a very crucial part of your career, especially at the start. It’s simply just not enough to only excel at what you do. You need to connect with new people, share interests and career goals. Learn about them just as much as you want them to learn about you.
Let me share an example with you to emphasize this point.
A couple of weeks ago I came across a business woman who was speaking about her career and experiences in accounting and finance. I noticed that most of her success started through networking. She told me that she attended a recruitment day at Merrill Lynch on ‘Women in Business’, but before attending she had practiced and prepared for the event. And there it was! She was noticed in an instant. Her confidence and knowledge made her stand out from the crowd, miles ahead of everyone else. Later on, she failed one of the numerical tests which would have meant good bye for someone else but having already impressed the recruiter at the networking event, she was allowed to come back and retake the test. She was offered the job, with a starting salary of £31k even though she was only 21. She has since then worked at Deloitte, progressing onto consulting and her job has taken her all around the world. All thanks to her excellent networking skills, which she continues to improve
So how do we excel at networking?
1) Set yourself a goal. Before you go to any event or networking event, set yourself a goal you would like to achieve by the end of the event. For example, you may want to exchange business cards or emails with 2 business professionals or make a good impression on one of your favourite companies or business people for future work with them.
2) Show enthusiasm. Speak about your career goals and your thoughts on business issues which are directly related to the person you are speaking to. Don’t let where you are in your career at the moment hold you back. Knowledge and enthusiasm can speak volumes and skilled recruiters are quick to spot potential.
3) Embrace technology. Instead of handing out your business card to lots of people who probably will lose it, ensure that you will be in touch by streamlining your networking by using available new technology. We recommend CardsOnTap, a digital card collecting app to find out more CLICK HERE
We hope these tips will help you to develop your networking skills and progress your career.