NETWORKING / OCT. 22, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Network Smartly

Have you ever wished to broaden the scope of your career? If yes, then what measures have you put in place to drive you there? This is where networking comes in. Networking is not just about getting to meet and strangers, it is also about getting exposed to new talents. Networking further helps you to find new jobs as well as expose you to new potential investors who can easily back your ideas. To be more precise networking is about building relationships. However, devoting all your precious time and energy bonding and networking with your peers does not guarantee success. This calls for doing smart networking that requires building a relationship with the right people. Here are a few tips on how to go about doing smart networking;

Have a well laid plan

Before you start building your networks, you need to first figure out what you need. For instance ask yourself the direction you wish to have your career or business go. The moment you have figured out the path you may then move on and come up with an elaborate plan on who you need to know or meet first. It is in the planning stage that you will also get to note the various avenues that you will use to network.

Don’t ignore anyone in the organization

There are some employees who have a very big impact in the organisation but they are hardly given attention when people are building their networks. Ever heard of secretaries or administrative assistants? Sure you have. But how often do you share with them or try to build a bond with them? Many people hardly notice them. However, these are the people who know the organisation inside and out. Secretaries work directly with the top management including the CEO and thus if there is anyone who knows high level information regarding personal lives and professional targets of all the organisation’s top executives it has to be them. They tend to have all inside information regarding layoffs, office gossip or employee changes. Therefore, if you want to make you smooth rise to the top then you can’t ignore such people.

Avoid being self-centred

Don’t let your personal growth agenda drive you. As early stated above, figure out your goals during the planning stage. Once you are done don’t allow your personal goals drive you. Some people just want to network with others because they are targeting something and once they have achieved it the network becomes useless. This is not a good way to go about doing smart networking. Be a visionary and make it your goal to be honest and friendly, open and generous. Always forge connections between people who may be able to help each other. If you are a generous person, people will always remember you because of that quality.

Networking is mutual

Networking is not one sided thus it is not about being beneficial to only a single party. The new networks that you are getting to establish and know are also likely to gain from you in one way or the other. When you get to various networking forums, listen and learn what everyone is putting on the table. From there you will realize that everyone in that forum can be beneficial to another. You can then connect with the people whom you figure out to be beneficial to you and people that you are likely to be beneficial to as well.

Never forget to do a follow up

Whenever you promise someone that you will keep in touch never fail to do so. If some other parties ask you to contact them later don’t hesitate to do so. If you promised to introduce someone to a person you have acquaintance with, don’t fail to do so. These may seem as small things to you but they may have a big impact to someone else .Always strive bridge gaps between parties as you network with them since you also wish to have the same done to you. It doesn’t matter how busy your schedule is as it just takes a few minutes that change someone’s life through a network. The same applies to your life.

You may beware of all the tips of getting to network smartly but there is still one thing you need to bear in mind that somehow comes ahead of the rest. Smart networking cannot be achieved if you don’t have full interest in it and believe in the power of networking. Observance of the above tips will ensure you are very successful in your networking that will also see your career have a turn around.

 

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