Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

May 2, 2011

Networking: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Filed under: Networking — Larry @ 9:55 pm

In today’s interconnected society, that rings true more than ever. Your talents, abilities, and experience will never take you anywhere if nobody knows you exist. In order to get what you want out of life, you need to be resourceful.

1) Break your stereotypes about networking: There will always be people who judge others based on image and titles, but there are also people who want to build genuine, mutually beneficial relationships. When you’re networking, you’re going to have to sift through the people you don’t want to know to get to the people you do want to know.

2) Be Bold: Networking does require a degree of boldness, but with the advent of social networking sites, you can get to find others with similar interests and goals without being in a room full of people. Networking takes time and effort.

3) Build your social network: The key is to smile and take a genuine interest in other people’s lives. Strengthen your existing connections. Getting in touch with old friends, distant relatives, and people you went to school with can be a good stepping stone because you’re reaching out, but you’re not approaching complete strangers.

4) Go to work-related conferences: Ask the people you meet for their business card and write any details about them on the back once you have a moment to spare.

5) Find out who knows whom: When you’re talking to people, find out what they do for a living and for fun, as well as what their spouse or significant other, nearby family members, and close friends do for work and recreation, too

6) Find the extroverts: As you continue to network you’ll find that some people are much better at it than you are – they already know everyone! You’ll stand to benefit from getting to know such people first because they can introduce you to others who share your interests or goals

7) Invite people out & be generous: Since you’re looking to create mutually beneficial relationships, a good way to kick start this is by thinking of ways in which you can help others. It’s not all about contacts, job offers, and loans; you can offer compliments, good listening skills, and other less tangible (but valuable) gestures of kindness and generosity

8) Follow up: Don’t get someone’s business card or e-mail address and forget about it. Find a way to stay in touch.

9) Use the Internet: The internet and online networking have essentially reduced distances between people to zero so that we can not only network outside of our hometown, but also from coast to coast and globally. Develop some online contacts whom you might be interested in networking with.

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