Sometimes the scariest part of your job can be the most rewarding. For a high percentage of population that hates networking, it is one of the key components that pays off to growing your business. It isn’t something that is easy or learned over night, it is something that takes repetition and determination.
Start by asking yourself some important questions to define your overall goals:
- Find what company you want to work for.
- What industry do you want to get in to?
- Do you like to volunteer?
- What is your ultimate goal
- Who can do it with you?
Once you figure out what your mission is and what you want to accomplish, you can then focus on how you will make the networking happen. The key is to make sure you are aware of connections being made and always ‘sell’ yourself. You never know when you could run into the CEO of a company you want to work for.
How to find networking opportunities:
- Find groups on LinkedIn.
- Go to young professional groups.
- meetup.com to find people with similar interests.
- Who do you already know that may know someone?
- Look with the cities and see what networking groups they already have.
Now that you know your purpose and where to network, you need to figure out your mission, who you are and how you will promote yourself. This is where your 30 second elevator speech will be handy. You need to be able to sell yourself to someone in 30 seconds during a networking opportunity.
Develop your 30 second commercial:
- Who you are
- Who you work for (went to school for)
- What you are looking for
- What your strengths are
- What you can do for them
Now that you have the basics, go out there and have genuine conversations with individuals in the community. Always ask them if they know anyone to connect you to that could help your cause. Remember, they know if you aren’t truly invested in the conversation. Make sure you learn about them and learn what they need. You might be able to help them with one of their needs as well.