Networking is a vital aspect of your professional life. Having a good network can keep you updated, teach you new things, make you more innovative, and give you a sounding board to flesh out your ideas. Why do so many of us avoid networking if it is so vital to our careers? Given below are the points which can clarify your doubts about frequent networking misunderstandings:
Finding the “right person” to network with is important
A common misunderstanding among many individuals is that they must find the proper person or persons to network with. However, networking is a trial-and-error process; you must first strike up a conversation with someone to determine if they can assist you. The people you network with should be helpful right away. However, there may be persons you speak with who, no matter how pleasant they are, are unable to assist you in getting where you want to go. They might also surprise you by telling you that they can’t help you but know someone who can. That’s the joy of networking: everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone else. So, if you’re unsure where to begin networking, just roam around and talk to anyone. That person could be a classmate or the person behind you in line who can help you land your next big job opportunity.
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Networking is a waste of time
The opinion that networking is a waste of time, stems from the fact that people are unlikely to form lasting connections when they attend large networking events. Giving your business card to a group of people and then not following up will not result in any meaningful relationships.
Instead, being proactive is beneficial. If you do attend networking events, make time to follow up with people you found interesting or the ones you would want to learn more about afterward. Reintroduce yourself in an email, saying how great it was to meet them and complimenting something about them. If you want to continue the relationship, you can ask to meet with them again.
You don’t need to prepare anything in order to network
There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to how much networking practice you really need. On the one hand, there are some who are completely confident in their communication abilities and are aware that they can “wing it” if necessary. On the other side, some people may be uncomfortable with networking or are concerned about making a fool of themselves.
A successful job requires extensive networking. Don’t let any of these common networking myths keep you away from reaping the benefits of a professional network. Networking can help you find a solution to an issue you’re facing and can also help you form long-term relationships with people by assisting them with their own challenges.