7 Steps to Professional Networking

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Last Tuesday on November 8 we had the opportunity to attend a networking workshop from the university of applied sciences HTW Chur, where I study at.

Manuela Widera a former student held the presentation and led us through the concise workshop. Today, she is the founder and head of her own business Soluziuns-Solutions which deals with a variety of services like problem-oriented leadership, team development, conflict management and many more.

I really enjoyed her workshop, which is why I wanted to let you be a part of this experience, even if it is just through the briefly shared content on how to do professional networking.

 

Step 1: Know yourself

Who are you? What can you do? What do you want to do? Ask yourself these questions. Think about the information, which is important and which you want to share with others.

 

Step 2: Be prepared

You are attending a networking meeting? Research the given information / attending companies / speakers and so on in advance. There might be some useful data you can use later on. For example for a potential future employment or even for an interesting conversation at the event.

 

Step 3: Believe in yourself

To start a conversation with a person you don’t really know yet might be frightening, but it seems to be this way for most people. Just remember to be friendly and straightforward. A warm smile on your face will surely help you a lot as well. Even Small Talk is allowed to start or maintain a conversation. Don’t worry to much about it. Be and believe in yourself.

 

Step 4: Create a situation where both can benefit from

Remember that networking is not a one way ticket where you gain it all and have to give nothing. Ask open questions, listen to the other person, make (honest!) compliments, show your interest in them as a person, their projects and their company. Value the given informations and thank them.

 

Step 5: Use your own Elevator Pitch

The Elevator Pitch is a short statement based on the following points:

  • Who you are
  • What you search for
  • Which benefits you bring with

It is your chance to distinguish yourself from others, briefly.

 

Step 6: Care for your Connections

You met the right people and you shared your contact information? Congratulations! Now, to lose sight of these would be a total waste. Let them know that you enjoyed talking to them, maybe in form of a Thank-you note? Don’t be full of expectations, ask yourself what might be the benefit for them. Did you just read an interesting and relating article? Share it. But don’t pester them.

 

Step 7: Activate your Network

Ask for advice. Help others in your network. There are many things you can do to succeed. And there are probably more people that can help you acheive your goals than you think. Don’t underestimate your area of influence.

 

Of course there are many more good tips, but I chose these to make it more understandable. Later on, I went to research even more, inspired by the workshop.

 

Furthermore, I really found some good web articles about networking.

Make sure to check them out, they are quite useful as well.

 

The guardian – Networking: how should you approach a potential contact?
The guardian – Effective networking: who are your contacts?
The Muse – 8 Tips for Staying in Touch With Networking Contacts (Without Being Weird)
Lifecareer.com – How to Build and Expand Your Career Network: 10 Proven Techniques for Job-Seekers
Helpguide.org – Job Networking Tips
Inc.com – How to Network Effectively
fastcompany.com – 7 Non-Sketchy Ways to stay in Touch with your Contacts

 

Do you have any further tips or inputs? Feel free to share them with us.
We are looking forward to your feedback!

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