5 networking tips that will never go out of style
Once a tedious session of awkward hand-shaking and business-card-exchanging, networking is now usually given a grayer definition. It still remains an essential part of the professional world, but what constitutes networking these days is more than just professional groups and alumni dinners.
Whether you’re a seasoned networker or just getting your feet wet, here are five tips that will never go out of style:
Talk to everybody, because you learn from everybody
If you’re going to an event that you know someone you want to meet will be attending, of course you should introduce yourself, but you should also talk to the people you don’t know or haven’t heard of. Even if you think you have nothing in common with a person, go over and talk to them. They may not be able to offer you a job or give you their business, but perhaps they know someone, or perhaps they have some wise words from their own personal and professional experiences. So say hello, and make sure to keep the business cards!
Networking happens everywhere nowadays: at parties, at bars, in coffee shops. Chances are that some time in your life you’ll be invited different places by different people. Prior commitments may require you to turn down some of these invitations, and some you may just not feel like accepting. If there’s someplace you don’t want to go, get up and go anyway. You don’t have to stay for a long time, just show up. Even if you go for 10 minutes, you’ll still learn something.
Show your passion
When you follow your heart, people see the difference between a passion and a trend. You have to think your passion, walk your passion, breathe your passion. Passion is contagious. This is what will help you form more genuine connections to the people you meet. You have to believe in yourself, and you have to do everything with love and kindness. You will get a lot in return.
Don’t be afraid to get knocked down
Success doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t be afraid to get knocked down on the way and you have to be prepared to knock on countless doors only to have them slammed in your face. This will make you stronger and appreciate your success more! You have to stick to your dream and don’t let anyone or anything get you down. There will be days when all you want to do is to go home and cry your eyes out but you have to go out every day and be the best you can.
Make good use of social media
Aside from maybe seeing what your exes are up to, use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to give yourself another way to connect with people. Tweeting an interesting, relevant article at someone influential or posting praise on someone’s Facebook page gets your name on their radar. People have gotten job leads through social media, or have even used it to find their mentors.