If you are looking for some tips on successful networking, today’s post is a great read with a short video. We are catching up with Robby Slaughter, author of The Unbeatable Recipe for Networking Events, on the Beyond.com Confident Candidate Series.
Why is networking so important? This may seem like an obvious question with a no-brainer answer. But, when you are walking into an event in the hopes of making successful connections, it’s an important thing to contemplate and ask yourself. For professionals and job seekers alike, we must challenge ourselves to recognize why we network and, perhaps more importantly, what we hope to achieve by partaking in it.
Beyond.com’s Karen Weik poses this very question to AccelaWork’s Robby Slaughter in her most recent interview in the three part series: the Confidant Candidate. In the first video, Slaughter talks to Weik about why failure is important in a job search. This latest video installment, How to Become a Networking Pro, provides valuable tips that should be considered when attending events. Check out the short clip below:
Weik and Slaughter discuss two areas of networking that are important to understand and prepare for when jumping into the process. The first topic is the dilemma of dealing with stuffy events. For many, when networking seems unproductive in conversation, our initial reaction is to do one of two things: leave or socialize. Yet, when you think about it, neither of these options really solidify successful leads. Chances are, taking one of these routes will leave you wondering why you made the effort to attend in the first place. Instead, if you find yourself in a stuffy environment, it’s time to make a proactive choice. Rather than quietly ducking out of the room, Slaughter encourages you to persevere and participate:
Break things up. Come in, ask questions, listen and contribute. Or find someone you do know and use them as a way to help break up the conversation; to help start things and make them happen differently. Because after all, if you’re not talking to new people and developing new relationships at a networking event, then you are just socializing with people you already know. And really the purpose of these events is to build new relationships, to find new people that you might be able to help and possibly be able to help you.
The second topic Slaughter discusses is the importance for utilizing social media. This aspect of networking is extremely beneficial to recognize because anymore, having an active presence online is no longer a trend, but the norm. If you’re not connected through outlets such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and so on, then you are missing out on a large chunk of opportunity. According to Slaughter, involvement in social media not only keeps you up to date, but gives off the impression that you are involved, committed and diligent in your persistence of achieving successful standards as a professional.
If you’re a job seeker you need to be known by the people who might want to hire you. And if they can’t find you online it’s hard to trust you. On the other hand, if they can find you online and they see that you are commenting, blogging, contributing, that you have active profiles, it shows that you are committed to your professionalism everywhere you go.
Networking takes time and work. There’s no doubt about that. Ultimately however, it’s a crucial process in establishing professional relationships and opening doors. No matter how you go about it, never stop! Every once in a while however, take time to learn from others and observe how you can improve your networking skills. You don’t have to be a pro to be successful after all, but it never hurts to adopt tips along the way.