Networking to Get Ahead. pt 1

Nov 14, 2019

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go with other” 

– African Proverb.

It’s important to network thoughtfully and effectively. To be the best at what you do, you need to surround yourself with people who inspire you, who motivate you, and who challenge you. People who ask you difficult questions and provide honest feedback. Networking is the practice of intentionally seeking out these people. Your personal network is your resource — During my visit to the Lagos Business School. I learnt a new quote on networking which is " Your Network determines your Net Worth"

Networking is just as tangible and necessary as your technical skills. Let’s go over some of the important, necessary networking skills.

First, just be open to meeting new people, listening to new ideas, and engaging with people outside of your specific business or industry. Be authentic in how you present yourself and your business. Networking requires a genuine interest in others. They deserve your respect and your attention. Be a good listener for common goals and interests and establish useful relationships. Be punctual and respect how much time your contacts are able to give you. Be proactive and conduct research on the individual, the employer or the industry with whom you would like to connect.

Here are some ways to develop your network:

  • Reach out to friends, family members and alumni — they are a rich pool of people with connections.
  • Seek to connect with people informally at conferences and meetings or at formal networking events. Begin your conversation with what you know about the person or the organization, talk about your common interests, and build your conversation from there. Let them know how you possibly can help them.
  • Make connections through social media such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn can connect you to others with similar interests, it can help you establish wider networks, and is a rich resource of information for professional development.
  • When you communicate with people through face-to-face interviews, over the phone or through Skype or some other system, be prepared with questions. Never leave the room or end the meeting without your voice been heard. This also help you project leadership qualities.
  • Choose and adapt questions that will be personally and culturally relevant to you, that’ll help you.
  • If a chance meeting offers you an opportunity, ask for contact information and a business card.
  • Reciprocate — be a resource for those in your network. Your network is built over time because all connections you make become part of your personal and professional network. Think about it as something that is alive and that requires time and your attention to stay healthy and relevant.

In further insight we will look at how to maintain your network and how to remember your network's names, this is very important , because if you can't remember something as important as your new connection's name, if forms a bad opinion about you and the chance of doing business with you.

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