Networking has become a crucial and undeniable aspect of modern-day career growth. It has been proven time and again that professional networking leads to better job prospects, more business connections, deeper knowledge, etc. A lot of people miss out on building meaningful partnerships and advancing their careers because they find the art of networking difficult to master.
What is stalling your career growth?
There are people who are good at networking and then there are people who have taught themselves to get good at. More often than not, it is ourselves that hold us back amongst other barriers like —
- Having a fixed mindset — People close themselves and that stalls them from meeting new people and experiences.
- Not being proactive — Taking a lead is terrifying to a lot of people, but getting good at networking means you take charge in conversations.
- Not thinking strategically — Most people don’t think about networking traits like smiling, open body language, and having a sense of humor.
- Not utilizing your contacts — Often people forget networking doesn’t mean just meeting new people, but also strategically utilizing your contacts for career growth.
These barriers hold us from having a network of people who provide you with information, connect you to others, help you get your job done, mentor you, and advance your career growth.
Let’s take a look at a few crucial networking tips that you can use and shun these barriers to achieve success through professional networking:
Being genuinely interested
You might be networking with a high-level executive just to get a chance to pitch your idea. But if you are just waiting for your chance to pounce and make the pitch, it defeats the purpose. Taking a genuine interest in what the other person is talking about, listening to their ideas work is a great way to not make networking just transactional.
Building reciprocal partnerships
Making an effort to build partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both parties gives you an opportunity to be a great resource that the other person can rely on. Be open, confident, approachable, and take an active interest while networking to have reciprocal partnerships.
Have a smiling face
It is one of the easiest and simplest acts that individuals simply don’t consider. Don’t get so worried about the fact that how much you dislike networking that it actually reflects on your face when you are in a conference or party. Having serious facial expressions like showing grimace or Scowling is quite unfriendly. People exchange warm friendly smiles to a person who greets them good morning with a wide smile than to a grump who scowls a hello. Don’t walk around looking like a clown — simply lighten up your expression and give a sweet smile when you say hello.
Leveraging your contacts
We meet many people every day, take their contacts, and never follow up. There are people in your contact list who can, if leveraged, help you connect with the person you need. So start by making an initial conversation, sharing common interests, and then asking for their help to get connected with someone you want to network.
Planning your networking
A strong relationship is built over time. Be strategic, thoughtful, and smart. You don’t want to be networking with someone who just had a rough time, or when they are busy. Being strategic with your time and approach will not only help you plan your actions but also help you make an informed decision.
In conclusion, it can be said that networking is critical to career success & growth, and so shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to make a business transaction. The power of networking is huge. For e.g. — Mr. V Srinivasan, founder of CFO Bridge and ex-CFO of Bharati AXA, leveraged networking skills to gain 200+ clients in the last seven years. So, be open, genuine, take a real interest, leverage your contacts, and make an effort to building meaningful, authentic partnerships.
About Us: CFO Bridge is the largest partner model service provider in India with 200+ clients, 4000 Cr. + turnover managed & 100 Cr. + funds raised