How to get the connections you need!
The skill of networking can land you a job and allow you to move you forward quicker. The ability to work a room and make a good first impression is sometimes the only thing that separates you from competition. So grab a pen and paper and study these tips on how to become a professional schmoozer!
Ditch the "I'm not good enough" attitude.Meeting new people is intimidating, especially when you are one of many trying to make a good impression. However, no one will believe you are better than others at your job if you don't! Be confident in your abilities. Do not go into a networking event with the idea that you are not good at meeting people or that you will not be able to partake adequately in intelligent conversation. These ideas will hinder you from taking the initiative to meet people. Before attending boost your confidence by:
- Making a list of your strengths and what only you could bring to the table.
- Remembering that these people want t to meet you too.
- Practicing your introduction prior to the event. By establishing what you are going to say and how you want others to perceive you gives you more control over the situation.
- Visualizing you at the event. Go through your introduction and possible conversations.
- Imagine yourself succeeding flawlessly.
Take the LeadAt these events, everyone has something in common. This common thread can be an advantage and disadvantage. The similarities can be a disadvantage because you are guaranteed to be aquatinted with people attending; however, you do not want to stick to your comfort zone. The common thread also guarantees that you will have common interests with those you don't know.
- Take the initiative to introduce yourself to strangers.
- Ask open questions that will allow you to find what this common thread is.
Overcome RejectionNo matter how prepared you are, confident you seem, or how much initiative you take, at some point or another you will receive rejection. Maybe someone doesn't respond to you the way you had anticipated or does not want to help you; this is not a reason to be discouraged! These are great opportunities to learn from the experience and growing:
- Don't take it personal.
- Keep your attitude in check.
- Be kind and friendly as you exit the conversation. Your actions and attitudes could be relayed and hinder you from forming an important connection.
Get contact information.All your hard work can be lost if you fail to receive a way to get in touch with your new source. Exchanging information such as telephone number or e-mail is the best way to ensure a developing relationship. However, for some this is too forward to soon. If that is the case, suggest a casual meeting over lunch or coffee to discuss the common threads you found. It might be easier to exchange information after this meeting.
Follow-up.After exchanging contact information send an e-mail or note expressing what a pleasure it was to meet them and look forward to meeting with them. At this point arrange a meeting or include intentions too. It is important to not let the connection sit by the way side, take advantage of the resources he/she offers!
Congratulations on your newfound networking skills!