It’s not just that people are skeptical about the benefits of attending conferences, meeting new people, and making connections. It’s that we’ve been conditioned to believe that networking is about being fake and disingenuous, and it makes us feel like something is wrong with us if we want to network—even though most of us do!
Here are five things everyone gets wrong about networking:
It’s a statement we’ve heard our whole lives, and it’s true—but not in the way you think.
In this case, “who you know” refers to the people around you: your friends, family, and coworkers. It also includes people who are outside of those circles—people with whom you’ve shared an experience or an idea. You don’t have to be best friends with these people for them to have a positive impact on your life and career. In fact, sometimes the most important relationships are the ones that are unexpected.
The key is being open to new relationships that might help you in some way. You never know what someone else might be able to do for you until you give them a chance! So go ahead and make some new friends! And while you’re at it… ask them if they need anything from Amazon (because we’re here for all your friend-making needs).
Networking is one of the most important skills you can develop in your career. It’s not just about meeting people, it’s about making meaningful connections with people who might be able to help you.
But networking can be intimidating. You have to be willing to talk to complete strangers and make them like you, right? Wrong!
You don’t need to be an extrovert in order to network well. In fact, it may actually help if you’re an introvert. One of the best ways to network is by using social media. If you’re not comfortable talking face-to-face with complete strangers, try reaching out through LinkedIn or Facebook instead. The more you engage with others, the more comfortable you will feel reaching out to strangers.
When you meet someone new, the first thing out of their mouth shouldn’t be “Hi! I’m [name], and my favorite color is [color].” Instead, ask questions about them: what they do for a living, why they chose their career path, etc.
This will help build rapport with them and get them interested in learning more about what you do as well. It’ll also make them think about you when they remember their conversation later on—and if they do remember it fondly enough, maybe they’ll reach out!
5. You don’t need to be an expert in anything specific to be good at networking
Meaningful networking can happen without you having to be an expert in your field. You just need to know how to listen, ask questions, and be a little bit confident.
So many people are afraid of networking because they think they’re not good enough. That’s ridiculous! Anyone can network—you just have to know how to do it right.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find someone who knows what they’re doing and ask them for advice on how they got started in their field.
Next, go out into the world and find some people who share your interests and see if there’s a way you can help each other out (maybe even get lunch together!)
Finally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Summer isn’t over and there’s plenty of time to get out there. Ask for advice from people who have been where you are now and use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and others around you!