How many times do you say to yourself that you need to meet more people? That your circle of influence needs to be strengthened? That your skills and talents have yet to be discovered? Your career requires you to network and in today’s marketplace you must be more active than ever.
Relationships matter to your career no matter the organization or level of seniority because, ultimately, every job boils down to interacting with people. People control resources, opportunities, information, and the like. Think of it as Iwe. An individual’s power is raised exponentially with the help of a team (network).
Learn to Love Networking
I hate networking.” We hear this all the time from executives, other professionals. They tell us that networking makes them feel uncomfortable and phony—even dirty. Although some people have a natural passion for it—namely, the extroverts who love and thrive on social interaction—many understandably see it as brown-nosing, exploitative, and inauthentic.
But in today’s world, networking is a necessity. A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority. Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves the quality of work and increases job satisfaction.
Focus on Learning
Most people have a dominant motivational focus—what psychologists refer to as either a “promotion” or a “prevention” mindset. Those in the former category think primarily about the growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring them, while those in the latter see it as something they are obligated to take part in for professional reasons.
Identify Common Interests
The next step in making networking more palatable is to think about how your interests and goals align with those of people you meet and how that can help you forge meaningful working relationships.
Think Broadly About What You Can Give
Even when you do not share an interest with someone, you can probably find something valuable to offer by thinking beyond the obvious. Of course, this isn’t always easy. We’ve found that people who feel powerless—because they are junior in their organizations, because they belong to a minority, or for other reasons—often believe they have too little to give and are therefore the least likely to engage in networking, even though they’re the ones who will probably derive the most benefit from it.
Find a Higher Purpose
Another factor that affects people’s interest in and effectiveness at networking is the primary purpose they have in mind when they do it. In the law firm we studied, we found that attorneys who focused on the collective benefits of making connections (“support my firm” and “help my clients”) rather than on personal ones (“support or help my career”) felt more authentic and less dirty while networking, were more likely to network, and had more billable hours as a result.
MAKING NETWORKING WORK FOR YOU
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We select the best individuals to mingle with and build your network. We are working on introducing certain criteria to make sure we stand out in the crowd.
Come meet, Mingle, Network and build your connections. Professionally and Socially. If you are a Social butterfly then feed your Social Ego.