They say that if you’re not networking, you’re not growing you career. As soon as you join the workforce, you should be actively and strategically building your network — creating relationships with a group of people within your industry who can support you with advice, opportunities, provide feedback and more.
So how do you master this skill and how do you feel confident with putting yourself out there to meet new people?
Start online and become a multi-platform master
Gone are the days where networking is simply just an in-person affair. You can build equally as strong relationships online using the power of email, webinars and, of course, LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a sensational tool for getting started on your networking journey. Curate a fantastic profile (check out our LinkedIn profile blog for help), start posting content relevant to your role and industry, and finally start building and engaging with your network. Likewise, when you are networking at in-person events, you can refer people to, and connect with people you’ve met, on LinkedIn.
Be a great conversationalist
Networking in its simplest terms, is the art of conversation. Becoming a good conversationalist requires having a certain set of skills in your communication toolbox such as:
Staying across current news and affairs, or learning a new skill is a great way to ensure you feel comfortable and confident that you can find common ground with someone. As you learn new skills and engage with someone, you can form valuable professional connections.
Jumping in with both feet is the best (and really, only) way to start your networking journey, wether that be online or in-person. Use Eventbrite, MeetUp or LinkedIn to find networking or industry events in your city, and don’t be afraid to turn up on your own (that’s what these events are for — networking!). By employing the skills of conversation, and following up with people you meet afterwards, you will start to build a professional network that will work for you and help move your career along.