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10 Networking Essentials

10 Networking Essentials

According to a Review42 article from December 2019, 85% of positions are filled through networking.

But, networking can be tricky. Especially if you are unsure of what you need from it. It is also something that many shy away from because it has gathered a bad reputation. But it is quite the opposite. It makes up a big part of being a successful professional and can also mean life-long professional relationships that can change the way you experience your career.

Read: How to Make the Most of Your Alumni Network

Here are 10 networking essentials to help you on your professional journey.

1) Be seen

You can not network if people do not know you exist. Going to corporate events, being involved in activities, showing up and taking part is important. At least in the beginning so that your peers know who you are.

2) Be seen online

Creating and maintaining a well-thought out online presence is very important. As a professional it is important to have a strong personal brand, and the online space is a big part of it. Leveraging professional social media platforms like LinkedIn is a great way to show your peers the kind of professional you are as well as keep in touch when regular personal interactions is not an option.

3) Share relevant content

It is easy to get carried away on social media and other online platforms and populate your feed with everything happening in your life. But this is not a great idea. It is important to curate your feed and mindfully post things that are relevant to your profession and your industry. A few spaced out life events allows people to understand you better, but it is imperative that they are few and far between.

Read: 8 Tips to Build a Personal Brand on Social Media for Senior Executives

4) Maintain relationships

Do not be afraid to reconnect with old contacts. It is vital that you maintain relationships, even if it is about small events or mentions. People appreciate being checked on briefly from time to time. This also lets them know that you will not get in touch only when you need something. It also allows you to meet people through them. And when this happens, be sure to maintain those new relationships from the get-go. Remember, your friend has vouched for you and showed trust by sharing their contacts with you.

5) Follow up

Make sure you follow up when you have said you will. This ensures that the other person knows you are reliable, trustworthy, and professional. If your previous meeting did not naturally lead up to the next meeting, do not be disheartened. Find a reason to follow up with them and gauge their reaction. More often than not, they are in the same spot as you – unsure about whether or not they should contact you. Make the move and then decide whether this is not a networking direction you would like to go in.

6) Networking is a two-way street

Keep in mind that while you are trying to network with people, they are doing the same thing. So allow them to speak as well. Listen to them like you would want to be heard. Also, make sure you are able to do something for them before you ask them for a favor.

7) Watch the clock

Before you begin trying to create a relationship with someone, make sure you have an agenda. Professionals do have a lot of work on their hand, as would you, so make it concise and to the point and suggest a further meeting. Respecting someone’s time establishes you as professional and credible.

8) Do not ask for a job

Instead of directly asking for a job, ask for help in finding one instead. It is more subtle and people respond to it better. They feel like they are in a position to help you and might be more inclined to do so. Rather than you demanding for their assistance.

9) Be professional and polite

This goes without saying. Although you might be establishing relationships in a casual setting, they, in fact, are professional. So maintain professionalism and always be polite. It is becoming a dying virtue, but your peers will always remember you for it. So always be gracious, and always be polite.

10) Collaborate

The best way to keep professional relationships going is to collaborate with people. Partner with someone you think is on a similar track as you and put your minds together. This will not only seal a certain bond between you will but also allow you to achieve your goals faster.

With these 10 networking essentials, you can navigate the professional networking world with more ease and more success.


Q. Why is it important to be seen offline as well as online to be able to network better?

A. Being present offline lets your peers know you are in the market, while being seen online helps extend and maintain a strong personal brand that is being seen at networking events etc.

Q. How can collaboration help you network?

A. Collaboration is the best way to keep any professional relationship going. Partnering with someone on a similar track as you can be useful to share your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

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