How Do I Start Networking?
Networking is hard! It is daunting, time consuming, and often confusing – especially if you aren’t a natural at networking. You probably already know how valuable networking can be; it can help you get your day-to-day work done, advance your career, lead to a new job, or open new social groups. Networking has brought me several job opportunities and is how I met my wife (friends of friends, bar crawl, long story – but don’t forget new social groups is networking).
How do you get started with networking?
There are 1000 and 1 things you can do to be a good networker, but let’s distill how you should start to a single item: pick one person this week to meet for lunch, grab a coffee with, or have an afterwork drink. It is that simple! Pick someone who you know, but not well – an acquaintance who you want to know better. Think about why you want to know them better:
- Are they someone who is great to know for business or your career?
- Are they someone you met at a party and would just like to know better because you think they are cool?
- Are they someone who you use to be close with, but have lost touch?
After the meeting, build the relationship further by sending them a quick note via email, text, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Snapchat thanking them for the great conversation. In a few weeks, but no longer than a month or two, follow up with another get-together.
But that’s just the start. Make a personal goal of meeting with a different acquaintance every week. Once you become comfortable with a weekly meet up, increase your networking to two different people a week and eventually make habitual contact with at least three different people a week. You’ll be amazed how easily you’ll get into a regular routine and how quickly you’ve strengthened and expanded your network!
Updated post originally appearing at HobbNobb.
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About Geoffrey BourneCTO at Ladders
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