The beginners guide to networking
17 October 2014, Blog
While some people are serial business socialisers, for others the thought of networking is a nightmare. Walking into a roomful of strangers takes courage and striking up a conversation with one of them takes confidence.
If you are a more junior employee going on behalf of your business, it can be an even greater challenge, but there are a few things you can do to make it a more beneficial experience:
- Firstly, just be yourself. You don’t need to turn into a pushy sales person determined to win new business. Let your personality and natural charisma shine through
- Be honest about your role in the company. Even the most senior person in the room was an office intern once, so people will respect you for your honesty and maybe even give you a few tips
- Think of the networking as an opportunity to share ideas, broaden your knowledge and expand your network. If you come away knowing just one new person, consider it a success
- If you’re feeling too shy to thrust your business card at someone, ask for theirs first. Generally, this will then prompt the other person to reciprocate and ask for yours
Networking can also be beneficial on a personal level. Going to events will increase your self-confidence, because the more you network, the easier it gets. You may even make new acquaintances that end up as long lasting friends. And I haven’t even mentioned the free nibbles and wine.