Networking for beginners
26 Jun 2019
Perhaps business networking conjures up images of dull middle aged men making unwanted small talk or strangers foisting business cards into your hands? If it does its no wonder that you don’t exactly warm to the idea of going to events.
This preconception isn’t actually true.
Networking is really just getting to know people better, finding out what interests you share, finding common ground ... helping each other.
But how, I hear you ask, can you help people when you are so early in your career? You can share professional/local gossip, make introductions, make people feel comfortable at your firm’s events and all just by being you.
And you definitely don’t have to be a partner to find common ground with who you’re talking to. If you can spot a common interest (sports, holidays, the food and drink you like) that’s more than enough to start a conversation.
To kick off your networking focus on 3 things (and – spoiler alert - none of these involve selling!):
1. Grow your professional network – this will help you more than you can imagine as your career develops
2. Look for likemindedness – that’s just getting on with people that you can find common ground with
3. Listen and learn - listening will endear you to people and learning stuff will help you to follow up, e.g. to tell you which article or link will be of interest so you can send it over to keep the conversation going (and note I said article or link, not ‘brochure’!)
And the F word is vital. Always find a way to follow up even if it’s just a LinkedIn invite. There’s no point in turning up if you don’t follow up because it’s the follow up that turns a chance meeting into a conversation into a relationship.
Simple isn’t it? All you need to do is be yourself, be human and be attuned to your environment.
Oh yes, and follow up, follow up, FOLLOW UP!
Posted by Douglas | 0 Comments