Networking is a positive method of - marketing yourself, seeking out new opportunites and maximising your time.
Networking can be either - external (outside the workplace) or internal (across an organisation).
Jodi Glickman Brown wrote an interesting piece on internal networking. That is you have been employed by an organisztion - now why do you work there?
External networking is similar but slightly different. However the basic rules to apply are very much the same. Here are some hot tips for networking -
- Carry business cards with you all the time. Especially make sure you have them on you when you go to events where you know there will be someone you have never met before.
- Seek out others and be the first to introduce yourself. Be open, friendly and ready to listen.
- It's not all about you. People will be more open and receptive to you if you spend time asking about them and being genuine in your interest of them.
- Listen. Be quiet, let the other person talk and mentally note what they have said.
- Don't be afraid to sell your good points and strengths to others.
- Introduce others. If you meet someone interesting or someone who may be beneficial to someone you know - introduce them. This benefits the others and the organisation because without you - the contact may never have been made.
- Follow up. Make sure you call, email or visit again in the future to cement the relationship. Not all contacts are worth following up on - but many are.
Networking - not shameless self-promotion. But a method to make positive and valuable connections both for your benefit as well as others and eventually the organisation as a whole.