Networking. You always hear people talking about how important networking is, but what exactly does networking mean and how do you get good at it? What does networking give you? And maybe most important, how do you start and how do you take that first step? No worries, with the help of this blog we will explain to you step by step how to do your networking.
What is networking?
The idea of networking is actually very solid. Networking is about people wanting to help each other and inspire each other. It is important that it goes both ways because if you don’t want to help someone else you can’t expect them to do anything for you. People often have the idea that networking is fake and forced, but they often forget that networking is mainly about making and maintaining contacts. Networking therefore does not only have to be a sales pitch about yourself.
Networking can be done in two different ways: online and offline. Companies often have the well known “networking drinks”, but networking can also take place at an event, at a party or in the gym. As long as you are busy making new contacts your network will grow bigger and bigger. Expanding your network via social media is also becoming increasingly important and especially easier. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram are perfect for making contacts with other people who inspire you or have the same interests as you.
What does networking give me?
Networking enables people to help each other in all kinds of ways. This could be finding a great internship, attending an interesting workshop or helping to organize an event. It’s all about going to places you normally wouldn’t go so quickly and gaining a new experience from doing so. But perhaps the most important thing that a broad network will ensure is the perfect job for you. Many jobs are never posted on job boards at all but rather assigned internally to known people. That is why a network is so important for your future job!
What is the best way to network?
Networking starts with your own mindset. It is important to remember that everyone has the same intentions when it comes to networking. When you start a conversation with someone with sincere interest or when you ask someone for help, 9 out of 10 times a good conversation will follow. It is important that you know exactly what you want to achieve with a conversation and what you are looking for in general. The better you know all this, the more precisely you can use your network.
But how do you know exactly what you are looking for or what you want to achieve? It can help to set goals for yourself. When you set your own goals make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and time-based). It can also be useful to make a wish list of nice companies where you see yourself working in the future. Look around and see who works there; do you know anyone or can you get in touch with them? Do they organize events that you could attend? These are ways you can get in touch with them, but of course you can also send an enthusiastic email or call and ask if you can drop by. Just go for it! You have nothing to lose right?