Show Up & Speak Up – The Art of Networking.
The Art of Networking – Lets talk about it.
By Kaylee Houde
What is your hold up for avoiding networking?
“I don’t need to – I already have a job.” “You see, I don’t have time.” “Well, I don’t know what to say.”
These are the top three hold ups I hear when I bring up the topic of networking. In fact, when I say the word a lot of people physically cringe away from it. I take a very different approach.
When there is a physical aversion to the word, then use a different word! No matter what word you use, it needs to have a positive connotation for you. The funny part is that networking is literally geared towards strangers talking to one another. That is the point.
Instead of approaching networking and worrying about who you are and whether you are being “authentic”, just show up. The people there are already primed to talk to you, because they are at a networking event also. Woody Allen (and Psychology Today) both agree that, “80% of success is showing up,” – the same logic can be applied to networking.
What if you changed the word networking to relationship building instead? We build relationships everywhere and anywhere we go anyway, right? That is the thing, even if you avoid the word networking it does not change the fact that the world revolves around communication and connections. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of jobs are not posted on job boards at all! This is called the hidden job market.
So, show up and start meeting these decision makers!
Here are a handful places you may expect to engage in relationship building without even attending a formal #networking event:
- When grabbing coffee (in the line up, with the barista, etc.)
- At work with your colleagues
- #Volunteering with local community projects or with the non-profit of your choice
- At your child’s soccer game with the other parents and spectators.
- Showing up to social events with like-minded people
- Grabbing a drink or bite to eat at the local eatery with a friend or coworker
- In line at the bank, corner store, post office, etc.
- On social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Where else do you communicate with and engage with others? Every time you do, you are networking, relationship building, or whatever words you prefer to use. Thus, what is important is not the, “Art of Networking,” but rather the art of showing up and speaking up about who you are and how you can add value in the lives of the people that are already around you.
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