By Michelle Wanjiku
Do you ever wonder how people get jobs through referrals from their networks yet it has never happened to you?
When you lack strong networking skills you are missing out on critical information that is not publicized such as job opportunities. This means that there are countless jobs you have missed out on because of not having the following networking skills.
1. You Don’t Make Small Talk
Yes networking is about getting contacts from people who can help you in one way or another. However, you should remember that it is not just about collecting as many business cards as possible.
You are meeting people and you therefore need to make a connection with them, after all your networks will be more willing to help you out if they actually feel like they have some sort of relationship with you.
If you always attend networking events and try to collect as many business cards as possible while giving out your own, you are going about networking the wrong way and it’s probably why you have not yet benefited from it.
You should not leave a networking event without reliable contacts but you should at least try and have a normal conversation with people in attendance. This way, you make a more lasting impression on the people you talk to and so they remember you when opportunities come up.
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2. You Don’t Follow Up
Imagine two scenarios, the first you attend a networking event, meet people exchange contacts and walk out feeling accomplished and wait for one of your contacts to call you with an opportunity. The second is after leaving the event; you make it a point to follow up with everyone you exchanged details with.
Which scenario gives you a better chance of getting a job or a referral from your networks?
You need to ensure that after meeting a new contact who you feel could be of help, you follow up with that person. People are busy and not everyone remembers everything. Making a follow up will ensure that you remain in the minds of your networks because you want to be the first person they think of when an opportunity comes up.
When making a follow up ensure you don’t take it too far and only follow up with the people you know you can benefit from. There is no point in having hundreds of contacts that can’t help you and you can’t help them.
3. You Aren’t Networking at Work
It is okay to build networks at work as long as you do it in a smart way. For example, if your work involves meetings with people outside your organization, you can try and build networks with some of them.
Once you leave your job or plan on leaving, you can always contact these people. Sometimes, they will refer you for positions because they know how you work and trust that you can do the job.
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4. You Don’t Try to Expand Your Network
It’s easier to keep in touch with just a few networks than having a large number that you rarely talk to. However, after a while you need to look at your network list to see if you have narrowed it down too much.
A small network of people you regularly contact is helpful but it can also leave your group limited of value. This then means that you miss out on other opportunities since there is only so much the same people can teach you.
This is especially important if you want to grow more and your current contacts cannot help you with that.
Ensure you are not limiting the number of people you network with. Just ensure it is not an exaggerated figure. This will open up more doors for you and help you achieve more growth.
Maybe it’s time for you to talk to professionals you wouldn’t normally talk to even if they are from a different industry. You never know what you might learn.
Networking can be of great benefit to your career if done right. It is a known fact that you are more likely to get a job if you were recommended by someone else. This clearly shows that networking is a very important tool in job hunting and you should take it very seriously.
With good communication and presentation skills, you can build your network with people who will help you grow in your career.
SEE ALSO >>> 7 Commandments Of Networking You Didn’t Know You Are Breaking
Improve your presentation and communication skills and become better at networking by attending the training at Corporate Staffing Services.
By Michelle Wanjiku