In order to be a successful professional, it is crucial to network. Whether you’re a freelancer, on a job hunt or somewhere in between, networking is crucial more than ever before. Did you know 80% of jobs are found based on referrals – your 80% more likely to get your next job is because of someone you know.
Why should we network? You get good constructive feedback from people working in the same field but also make friends and the possibility of helping others in their journey,
I was able to build up my network in a matter of months. From almost nothing – I’m still adding to my network but I’m happy to say I have a good group of folks in my circle. This post also features the advice of my partner in crime who has spent years building his network. Jason works as an IT recruiter and his job is constant engaging and connecting with people.
FYI these tips are ideal if you’re going to an event.
PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!
I cannot tell you how many times I have been somewhere and see every person on their phone. How do you expect to talk to people with your nose in your phone? By not having your phone in your face you look more open to other people who are looking to connect.
Put your phone on silent, put it away in your pocket or your bag and be present.
SURVEY THE ROOM AND FIND YOUR PEOPLE
Resist the urge to approach people you already know-they are already a connection. Let’s find you new people!
Yes this does sound a little creepy. When you’re writing a bench look around and find people you might be interested to talk to. They may have a similar fashion sense, do you follow them on their social media’s or do you know they’re someone you want to learn more from. Whatever the reason may be – approach them. Try sitting near by them, the proximity is a good way to get a conversation going.
Tips from Jason: I would avoid a group of folks that look like really good friends and maybe start off going to people who might be there alone.
Remember your first day at school,well this is it all over again. How did you make friends back at school? Did you have similar hobbies? Grew up in the same area? This is the same idea. You’ve already found your people so make a good introduction and converse.
Are you getting all sweaty and nervous? I can guarantee you they probably feel the same. It’s ok. Meeting new people can be scary but have an open mind and you’ll be just fine.
Tips from Jason: Find a natural point to talk to said person outside of a typical introduction. Don’t ask yes or no questions initially and this will give them an avenue to talk back.
These tips or what helped us successfully build our networks professionally and personally. Let us know if you have any questions and we’re happy to help!
Happy networking my friends!
PS: Let me know what you think about the collaboration with Jason. More may come in the future!
Photography by Tina Witherspoon