Let’s face it, most people despise networking, especially for introverts, new entrepreneurs, those who may have changed careers and gone into sales, or even those who have an established company but want to expand and grow. Networking is an essential part of growing any business or clientele base. Networking can be tackled in many ways including the ever popular community networking events that typically occur once a month. There is a growing trend in meet ups which can be found in and around larger cities such as Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Butler, etc. Networking is also a great way to find a specific service or product that is needed. Careerrealism.com
First, according to Careerhmo.com, it’s important to note that 4 out of 10 job seekers will find their next job by networking and not by applying online. Pretty eye opening statistics if you think about it. Does that help to motivate you just a little? It should. Job fairs are a great resource that many job seekers overlook or feel they are a waste of time. They are not! Job fairs are one stop shopping for job seekers. You have multiple employers under one roof that are ready to hire immediately or at the very least within a couple of weeks.
So, how can one motivate himself or herself to get off of the couch and out the door in order to meet and greet new people, grow a business, clientele or find employment?
First determine exactly why it is that you hate to network? Are you shy? Do you have limited time after work? Are there limited networking resources in your area to attend? These are valid challenges; however, they are fairly easy to overcome but the most likely reason is that people look at networking as an inconvenience or chore.
You have to get that idea out of your head. You have to get yourself excited about getting out there. Look at it as a social event. Somewhere to go, meet new people, make new connections and socialize. Get rid of that negative attitude and turn it into a positive one.
If you are an introvert, shy, or just not used to meeting new people alone, you must come across as confident, even if it is fake confidence. Nothing is more attractive than confidence. Walk into that room with your head held high, shoulders back and eyes straight forward. Practice walking into the grocery store, book store, the mall or some other environment where there is a lot of people milling around. Practice making eye contact, saying hello, holding a door open for someone. These small practices will not only give everyone the perception that you are highly confident, but you will begin to actually become confident.
According to CareerHMO.com, do not think of it as making mere connections, think of it as making professional friends. Collect stories from these new friends, meaning that you are learning more about these connections and they are learning more about you rather than just hoarding business cards that you will eventually throw out.
If there are limited resources in networking events in your community then create one. There is nothing stopping you from creating your very own networking event each month. Start by gathering friends and past or present co-workers or employees. Build a following by word-of-mouth through your local church, or promoting the networking event during other community activities. Research other successful networking events in other communities to see what it was that makes their event a hit.
Networking can be a fun, rewarding and successful way to find a job, grow your business or build your clientele.
Happy Career Hunting!