Networking as a term has been present for quite some time. It has good an bad connotation and I honestly understand both sides. Networking can seem very inorganic and fake. But it doesn’t have to be.
Networking will happen to you no matter what. As long as you have a community you belong to, family, friends, colleagues and accidental encounters, you have a network. You can make your network larger and work even better for you, without being fake about it. I have couple of tips I can give you.
First why should you listen to me? Well I got my diploma in December 2019 – in BBA, and am a management assistant. During my studies I had quite a bit of emphasis in my studies on event management and have worked in that field too. I even wrote a thesis on the effects of networks on event management. I also am quite active on social media and on LinkedIn, a prime place for networking. I will tell you below how to make LinkedIn work more organically for you.
Many people feel like networking is just ass licking and making sure that everyone sees you as this start person who can do nothing wrong. That it is all about the numbers. This can definitely be the way someone will go about it. Please don’t do that. Here is a short list to network efficiently but with grace.
- What is your goal with networking? Yes, goals. This doesn’t have to make it inorganic. Here are my goals; meet new people who I can learn from and who I can help, find people who I look up to and motivate me to improve myself, find people who benefit from my knowledge and know how (as well as vice versa) Find people who you click with. This just makes it easier to keep your network clear and not just a bunch of numbers.
- Don’t add/accept everyone in your network. Just like with friends and new people, you have to figure out who they are. Take time to look at the profile of your potential new contact. Are there aspects on it that makes you feel that you can help them or vice versa? No? Don’t accept/add them. There is nothing wrong in realizing you can’t help someone/they can’t help you. Network should work both ways (not in balance always but still). Just like friendships do as well.
- Be real. Look, there are enough YouTube, Instagram people, blogger and even LinkedIn personnel who obviously want to show you how successful they are. And there is nothing wrong with success and showing it. BUT it makes everyone see that extreme success highlight reel and feel like you will never get that. It also makes them seem cocky and flashy. And that is something people don’t seem to like. So be honest, be humble be human. You will get less views maybe initially with your posts, but you will gain a network who is right for you. And these will be the people who will celebrate your successes, because they will also see the hard ass work you put into it. You will also show with examples to those who look up to you how these things are totally reachable. With hard work. No easy solutions and scamming. Just hard honest work and great people to push you up.
- Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Your voice, your message matters. And someone will want to hear from you. Not a copy of a person who you think is a certain way, but in reality probably is also just hiding behind a mask.
- Think about networks as life long friends and connections who you want to introduce to people when they are seen by you in public.
- Networks work both ways. If someone is just using you (or if you are just using someone) it will become evident sooner or later. Don’t be a user. People will love to help you to succeed, if they see you as a good person. Those who are seen as bad or evil are wished harm. Keep that in mind.
Do you need a network? Well, you kinda have one, no matter what. Unless you are totally living a hermit life, you do. But if talking about building it more and making an active effort for it…no you don’t. It will however make life way more hard for you if you on’t have a network. Especially in this day and age. Meeting people helps you learn new ideas, skills and see new opportunities that you haven’t before. It is a bit like traveling and learning about cultures and history and how and why we are the way we are. But on a different scale.
If you meet people with whom you click, they may very well be the people who help you to take the steps you need to your success story, what ever it may be. As someone who posts about personal develpment, I honestly see networking as a part of it.
I found my voice, I found out that I am not just a little girl who should rather be silent than say her opinions and ideas out loud. I grew as a student, as a woman and as a blogger because of networking. Because I have met and talked to people who have put me up and who motivate me to keep working on my goals. What you do with your future. How you build it. It honestly is all up to you. But people have always been hoard animals, so it makes sense that building communities/networks will help us become the best version of ourselfs.
At least it makes sense to me.
What are your thoughts on networking? Have you tried it? In case of any questions don’t hesitate to ask. And if you are over the age of 16 you can ask me tips to building a great LinkedIn page!
Until next week!