It's no secret that having a large social group, or network, is a valuable resource. So, why are so few people actively engaged in building their network? In this post I'm going to answer that question and give you strategies to start expanding your own network today.
Can you answer YES to any of these questions?
You're not alone. Perhaps the most pervasive stigma networking faces is the perception that it's all about getting something in return. Far from it. It's about getting out and making friends. Good networkers understand that the goal of networking is to develop personal relationships with people you genuinely connect with. It's just a happy bonus that our friends are more comfortable recommending us for jobs or referring clients our way.
As for that anxiety? Even the most adept networkers can get a touch of nerves staring at a room full of strangers. They succeed because they consciously develop strategies to overcome it. A colleague of mine was late for a networking breakfast this week. When he arrived everyone was already sitting and all eyes turned to him. A seasoned networker, instead of stammering in embarrassment, he made a quick joke that broke any tension while he grabbed his seat. I know him well, he doesn’t have some innate natural charm. He nailed it because he’s done it a thousand times before. Networking, like all skills, takes disciplined practice.
I know the idea of networking can be scary, but I also know how vitally important it is to your career. Start implementing these strategies today and soon you'll be crushing that anxiety and making valuable connections.
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Are you thinking about taking the first step? Are you hesitating? Already moving toward your goals? Wherever you are right now I want to hear about it. Send me a message HERE.