Networking is essential to have a successful career in the modern-day working world. For many of us, however, even the thought of networking fills us with dread. It does not have to be this way, though! There are plenty of low-effort ways to network that yield major short- and long-term results. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the best tips for networking with minimal stress and effort.
Tip #1: Network from Home
That’s right! You don’t have to leave home to make connections and further your career successfully. Online networking platforms like LinkedIn offer great opportunities to build connections with professionals, develop skills, acquire new ones, and strengthen social bonds with coworkers. Whether you’re joining a message board thread or enjoying an informal group meeting through chat, you can get to know new people and reconnect with old colleagues in various ways.
Tip #2: Set Achievable Goals
For some people, the most dreaded aspect of networking is the notion that you must connect with many people at one event. This is not true. Focusing your networking energy on one person or company makes it more manageable and less stressful. Do your research before the event and narrow the field down to the company or group you want to connect with. Focus your networking energies there.
Tip #3: Ask Questions
Once you’re at the event, don’t be intimidated trying to start conversations. Remember, people like to talk about themselves and their business, so introduce yourself and ask questions. Be present and actively listen to their answers so you can follow up with relevant comments or further questions. Networking events are often busy and full of distractions, so they will notice your efforts to pay attention and respect them.
Tip #4: Talk to the Outsiders
Do you know that wall you like to stay close to at an event? Lots of other people do, too! Work your way over to fellow “wallflowers” and engage them in conversation. Like you, many are anxious about starting conversations but want to make connections. You may find that you have connections they would like to meet, and vice versa.
Tip #5: Bring a Friend
Being on your own at a networking event can be stressful. If you can bring a guest, bring a friend! Having a friendly face nearby can be just the confidence boost you need. When you feel comfortable in an environment, you can relax and let your true self shine through. Plus, they may make some valuable connections, too!
Networking does not have to be complicated or stressful. Keep the above tips in mind; your next networking attempts will be more successful, rewarding, and fun!