How to Network

When planning the next career move, sometimes it is best just to take a step back and think about networking. Chances are, there may be someone that you could connect with that could prove helpful either in your immediate or extended friends, family or acquaintances.

Networking Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

• Take stock of your contacts- consider everyone that you currently or have had a connection with, for example, old school friends, family, friends of friends and their family members.
• Tap into existing networks- there are many groups available on social networks, webinars, industry events.
• Make yourself heard- keep up-to-date with the latest industry developments and make sure you comment on them. You do not need to comment on everything but get your voice out there.
• Write down something memorable- when excepting business cards, write something about the business or person you dealt with that will help you remember them. It can also be handy if you have business card to give out.
• Keep in touch- ensuring you stay at the forefront of your contacts minds will be help them think of you when opportunities arise. Also be patient, proactive and persistent.

Don’t:
• Go for the hard sale- have a conversation to make a connection. Do not just go for a sales pitch, build a relationship. Be authentic and honest.
• Make it all about you- make sure you listen as much as you speak, flatter but do not overdo it.
• Be embarrassed to ask for help- create mutually beneficial connections so you can help each other out. Always remember to thank people for help or for meeting with you.
• Take up too much time- keep conversations friendly, focused, frequent and brief.