Sindiswa Thwala Coffee Time Talk - How To Become An Effective Networker

The importance of networking cannot be overstated. But how can you improve your networking skills to ensure you're networking efficiently and effectively? These networking tips will help.

Figure out what networking style works best for you.

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to networking. Different people are successful in using different networking tactics. The key is to try out a number of different networking strategies to discover what best suits you. For instance, if you're an introvert, you may prefer to network one-on-one over coffee or to attend more intimate events with fewer attendees. 
Sindiswa Thwala Coffee Time Talk
 Sindiswa Thwala Coffee Time Talk

Once you've discovered your ideal networking style, consider where you can go to meet the right people who can help you achieve your current career-development goals.

Network outside the box

You don't have to attend the traditional cocktail party in order to be a successful networker. Look for opportunities to network strategically in every facet of your life. 

Start where you're motivated to meet new people with common professional or personal interests, Volunteering is an excellent way to develop your network, show your value, learn about different career paths and opportunities, and to give back and do good. It's a win-win.

Make a game plan

While you don't need to know exactly what you expect to get out of each networking opportunity, it's important to head into each activity with a goal. For example, you may attend an event with the goal of connecting with three new people in your industry or bringing back one new insight to share with your co-workers.

Follow up

It's a simple task, yet many professionals neglect this critical step in the networking process. The time you invested in speaking with someone new won't benefit your career development if you fail to follow up afterward. While you don't need to send a long, heartfelt message immediately after meeting someone new, you should send a LinkedIn connection request with a personalized message sooner rather than later. Save the thoughtful message when you have something valuable to share or a specific reason to reach out.

Pay it forward

Look for opportunities to provide value to those in your network before you ask for help. The more you invest in your relationships, the more you'll learn about your new connections and the easier it will be to offer assistance — and get it in return! The value you provide isn't limited to the workplace; this could be anything from a hotel recommendation to an introduction to someone in your personal network.

Final thoughts on the importance of networking

It's never too early — or too late — to invest in your network. The best way to improve your networking skills is to put yourself out there and give it a try. 

The worst networking mistake you can make is not trying at all."
Women In Business
Women In Business
Women In Business

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