If you want to get your dream-job, land an impressive offer for the company you work for or build an empire, there’s one thing you should know.
You can’t do it all alone.
Sure, you can do most of the work on your own and then pretend that it was only you that made it happen. Sure, you can look down on other people’s efforts and take all the credit for yourself.
But at the end of the day, nobody makes it “all by himself”. Everything is connected and things flow much more smoothly when there’s proper communication and connection between people.
That’s why networking is such an important component when it comes to your career success. Not only do you get to know more and more successful people but you can also make great friends, know inspirational people and have more fun while you’re growing into a rockstar.
Networking can be done anywhere – at a conference, during the break of an educational course, at the library, at a dinner where similar people are invited, and so on. I would politely advise you against going to “networking events” – ironically, those are the worst places you can network.
You can find all sorts of advice on networking – however, much of it is out-dated. That’s because millennials have a different way of doing things, which includes more authenticity and honest communication.
What if you could find the best practices that combine the “basics” of “old school” networking with the newest and most updated techniques adapted to our modern times?
Here they are – the best 5 practices of modern networking…
Networking Best Practice #1 – Smile
Smiling is an evolutionary gesture that transcends verbal communication between people. When someone smiles to us, our brain automatically processes the fact that the smiling person likes us and they are friendly. Automatically, we become more open and friendly as well.
Now I’m not suggesting you go around smiling like Mr. Bean to everyone. What I’m suggesting is that you smile when you meet people, especially when you meet someone for the first time and look them in their eyes.
Smiling will also put you in a better mood, as well as others.
Networking Best Practice #2 – Make A Compliment
Flattery is not going to get out of style – ever. However, there’s a “smart” way to do it and a “wrong” way to do it.
The “smart” way to do it is to make a compliment that’s sincere, honest and which is a bit more profound than “I like your suit, it’s awesome!”.
You may not know this, but people actually crave genuine connection – so when someone really notices something unique about them (such as a character trait, a subtle quality or maybe even a specific characteristic of the suit they are wearing), you get a great start.
Make sure you include a bit of details in your compliment as well. For example, you might want to say something like “I like the reassurance you have in your tone when you are speaking about your project, I imagine that you invested a lot of time into researching it.”
Networking Best Practice #3 – Ask Curious Questions
The quality of a question can determine a lot of things about you, as the interviewer. That’s why it’s vitally important that you ask well thought-of questions which spark an interesting conversation.
The role of the question is two-fold – first, you get to learn something about your peer. Second, you can learn something important about their projects as well, which can give them an opportunity to promote themselves or even come up with new ideas.
An intelligent question will usually leave both parties more enlightened and wise – so don’t just ask people “how they are”. Think of better, more profound questions – like how they see their project in 5 years or what’s the biggest impact action they could make today to improve their project.
Networking Best Practice #4 – Be Authentic
Let me tell you a secret. Confident and self-assured people can smell fake people from a mile away. When you know someone is acting in a misleading way, you tend to avoid them and dislike their attitude, as well as their presence.
That’s why it’s really important to be authentic. When you acknowledge that you are “false” (first, to yourself), then you might notice that your anxiety will automatically disappear. If you’re still very anxious, usually acknowledging this in public (in a playful, funny manner) will dissolve a lot of tension, both in the room and in yourself.
When you network, be authentic – be yourself. Nobody likes to deal with fake people.
Networking Best Practice #5 – Connect The Dots
Whenever you connect with someone, the most important question you can ask yourself is “How can I start collaborating with him/her?”. Obviously, this won’t be the case for everyone involved but this question accomplishes a lot of things.
First, it puts you into a position of thinking whether or not you would like to work with the person in front of you. Second, it can create a lot of opportunities for growth and collaboration on both ends. Third, your creative juices are activated so you can come up with some high-quality ideas for that person’s project – which they will greatly appreciate, I assure you.
Are you ready to network with some fantastic peers? Tribehired is here for you – we can help you if you’re motivated to become a very successful professional in your field via an unconventional way.
If you feel inspired after reading this article, please share it with your friends – thank you!