It is that time of the week again. This week’s post is important. Hence, I plead that you share it with friends and family. And do not forget to make your thoughts known.
Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with ideas and ideas with opportunities. ~ Michele Jennae
There is a tradition everybody unknowingly practices; networking. Right from infancy to our days in school, we make friends and acquaintances, forming mutual relationships. At a certain stage in life, we realize that who you know and who knows you are as important as what you know. Contracts are not awarded to enemies but rather friends, family and acquaintances. The earlier you come to terms with this reality about life, the more birds you are likely to catch.
Here are a few reasons why networking is important:
Your network, when strong, gets you insight to trends as well first-hand information, contracts and gigs and jobs.
It develops you as an individual and develops your business.
Good networks help you to build relationships, both professional and personal.
You receive invites to events as a participant, speaker, co-host or panelist.
Finally, you become acquainted with the right people. These people can help you with your career.
Networking should be done with an intention, and not just to make friends, collect business cards or take selfies. Your Facebook likes cannot be converted to money. Set a goal for yourself and find opportunities that meet that goal.
HAVE AN ICEBREAKER
It is weird to walk up to a stranger to start a conversation, no matter how friendly you are. Some people are pros at connecting with people easily. Most of us, especially ladies, must re-sit the course over and over with constant practice. Throw away any self-consciousness holding you back. Success is for the bold, risk takers.
One tried and tested way to start a conversation is by asking “What brings you here?”
BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR CAREER GOALS
We often do not to come off as being over achievers or arrogant, so we tiptoe around our goals in networking. Make your interest to host a show, MC an event, talk to an audience or meet a mentor known. Someone might help you or recommend you to the friend of a friend.
Networking does not end after you walk out of an event. It is the beginning of a new relationship. Before you part ways, exchange contact information. Be the first person to reach out as it would not make you less human. If you had a great conversation, make it known to them. Mention something specific you enjoyed about speaking with the person, a quote from them shows that you listened to them.
Get in touch with old friends, former colleagues and schoolmates as well as relatives; strengthen existing connections. Show interest in what happens around you and in people’s lives. Celebrate with them on their birthdays and anniversaries. Congratulate them on their milestones and mourn with them.
Like in ecological relationships, there are commensals, mutualists and parasites. Do not be a leech. Be ready to offer help to those in need. Keep in mind that if you help others, they will do same for you.
Good luck networking.
PS: Looking for the perfect scenario to network? Meet the 2EWEBOYS.COM team at the SRC Union Block, Legon for the much anticipated Write Right Ladies’ Seminar. The time is 9: 00 am prompt. Come let us learn and network.