Networking is a major factor in attaining success in both business and the everyday working world. Whether you are a high roller looking to engage partners for your latest venture or a regular working stiff interested in finding a new position, the ability to network effectively can open many doors and lead to new and exciting possibilities.
Not everyone has an innate ability to network. Some of us are better on paper than in person, while others are introverted and soft-spoken, finding it uncomfortable and alien to be aggressive in starting conversations. If you fall under either of those categories, the following tips can help you improve your ability to network:
When starting out, choose areas where you already feel comfortable and at home. For example, the gym, or clubs and organizations where you are a member. Talk to people there that you already know and then gradually expand your reach, based on the tips you get.
Whether it involves going to a get together with a lot of people or attending an actual networking event, don’t go overboard at first. Do what you feel comfortable doing. As you get more experienced and have successful encounters, your confidence will increase.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
When you are ready, start putting yourself out there. For example, instead of spending time with just one person at a networking event, push yourself to go out on your own and strike up conversations. If this is awkward at first, don’t worry, it will eventually seem more natural and effective for you.
People really appreciate when you remember their names and details of past conversations. It proves that you were interested and engaged; that will make them more likely to remember your details and pass along any leads they come across.