Career Success: Easy Tips for Painless Networking
Do you dread the thought of networking? Many people don’t like the idea of “schmoozing” with strangers at mixers or business events, and would prefer hanging out by the door to working the room. But shying away from making connections can hurt your chances for career success. While you don’t need to suddenly become a major extrovert or a networking ninja, you should at least get more comfortable with networking if you want to succeed professionally in today’s business world.
The good news: networking isn’t as painful or difficult as you might think. This article has a bunch of tips for networking tactics you can easily do. Some tips:
Do your detective work. Prior to attending an event, see if you can get an idea of who else will be there. This will help you prepare some topics of conversation.
Have some ice breakers on tap. Depending on the type of event and the people who will be attending, there are probably a few all-purpose conversation starters that you can use as an easy way to open a dialogue with another guest.
Listen, don’t ask. You don’t want to immediately hit someone up with a request (or demand) immediately upon being introduced. Instead, show a genuine interest in what they do, ask questions and listen carefully. You can follow up and gradually work your way up to a request later on.
Ask their preferred contact methods. Find out the best way to connect with your contact after the event—and then actually follow up within a reasonable time.
What are your simple networking tips? Share in the comments.
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