In my most recent live Q&A show, I hosted two amazing former job seekers, Matthew Burbridge and Chike Gardiner, who made challenging transitions to the US by taking a strategic approach to networking. We had an awesome discussion about top networking strategies and how to leverage the right tactics to generate new opportunities faster. The tips shared were so important that I decided to compile them together into my guiding principles for networking.
Here are the top three key networking strategies you should always use!
1. Always be curious
The best way to get others to express interest in you is to express interest in them. This networking strategy is one you must add to your repertoire if you want to succeed. By asking probing questions about your networking partner’s career, industry, and organization, you’re telling them that you’re genuinely curious about what they have to say. This, in turn, will create the foundation you need to establish a meaningful relationship you can draw on in the future.
2. Always be connecting
This is another key tip that I recommend keeping in mind. No matter what industry, profession, or organization you’re in, you should always be seeking out opportunities to expand your network. There’s nothing worse than suddenly becoming unemployed and realizing that you don’t have a network you can draw on. Think of your network as your support system – the more effort you put into cultivating it, the easier it will be to rely on. Whether you’re at a coffee shop, conference, or wedding, connect with as many people as you can to set yourself up for success!
3. Give more than you get
A common misconception is that networking is about finding people who can do things for you. Yes, I’m not going to deny that that is a secondary goal. But, the most effective networkers know that a key networking strategy is to offer value wherever you can. When you offer value, people appreciate you and are grateful towards you. When they’re grateful towards you, they’re more likely to actively seek to return the favour when you need it. You can add value in many ways, from volunteering and mentoring to sharing your expertise to help a professional in need. Whatever your chosen method is, stick to it and add value as often as you can to cultivate a reliable network.
Want to hear more networking strategies? Tune into the full Q&A below!