Networking can lead to new opportunities for you and your career, help you branch out to new people and industries and more. However, if networking doesn’t come naturally to you, it can be challenging to figure out how, when and where to improve and expand your network. The following tips can help you strengthen your networking skills enabling you to increase your network for maximum benefit.
Work on your people skills
If you’re an extrovert, you may thrive off interaction with others and have no trouble with people skills. But if you’re an introvert, or an extrovert who could use some assistance, try strengthening your ability to listen, communicate with and relate to others. These abilities are key to networking.
Lend a Hand
Are there community volunteer opportunities for individuals or businesses in your area? Take some time and get involved. Lending a hand can lead to some great connections.
In addition to helping your community, be available to lend assistance to friends, family and acquaintances. Did someone send out a request via social media looking for a recommendation? Respond and give meaningful suggestions.
Do you know someone who is unemployed? Send along job opportunities if you know of any. The person will likely remember your assistance when you need a favor.
Once you’ve established relationships, strengthen them. Work on developing these relationships into friendships, partnerships and more. Invite a friend or co-worker to have lunch with you. Schedule several of these each month and you’ll have ample opportunities to strengthen your relationships.
Be sure to pass along invites to business related events as well. If your college, club or cohort is hosting something, make sure your network is invited. Or if you’re attending a conference, find out if other acquaintances will be there and arrange to meet.