It’s Easy to Network!

At its simplest level, networking starts by meeting and getting to know people.  When meeting a new person, you have 10 seconds to impress.  Networking is an activity that takes place every day of our lives, whether job related or not.  Think of all the people you come into contact with on a daily basis!

Assume an active role. Take ownership of your career and build relationships—“it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”  Gather information about people in your field, their work and the organizations they work for.  Small talk as social chit-chat is part of the process.

Script out what you plan to say in advance—the basics
  • Your strengths, achievements, goals, your skills, interests, background and career goals
  • Start conversations without using “I” 
  • Don’t make statements; ask questions
Set a goal
  • Make a list of everyone you know and prioritize the names according to a criterion that works best for you. 
  • Quality is more important than quantity--share and talk to a few chosen contacts rather than a zillion superficial interactions
Carry your networking tools
  • Plenty of resumes or business cards, notepad, pen, calendar
The Actual "networking"
  • Keep the conversation or meeting on track, be respectful of time
  • It is a two-way street--let your contacts know you will provide them with help in return whenever possible
  • Ask for a business card
  • Send a handwritten thank-you note. It will help you stand out and show that you go a little out of your way to make a good impression. 
  • Keep a record of your meeting, noting with whom you met, what you learned and any additional references you received.

Make networking easier:  practice, do it consistently, push the comfort zone, improve your self-image.

Additional resources
  • NETWORK YOUR WAY TO JOB AND CAREER SUCCESS, Krannich, Ronald and Caryl Rae
  • POWER NETWORKING, Kramer, Marc
  • - a complete series of hard copy and online resources and suggestions