For young and new entrepreneurs making your dreams of being successful come true begins when you get to know the right people in the industry. These are the people who can elevate your career thanks to their advice, experience and connections. Understanding the essential nature of networking means that you can increase the chances of success in the field that you choose. Of course, there is an art to networking successfully as it will require much of your own talents, skills and interest to make it work. Fortunately, networking is for everyone and anyone can succeed if they simply know the basics of how to create the right contacts for their advancement.
Everyone starts at the same place and that is on the bottom rung. There is certainly no shame is starting your career seemingly far away from your goals as that is where everyone begins their journey. However, you can start to network right away even from your first few days on the job.
Keep it Small:
You are not looking to meet everyone, just one or two people who can provide some guidance and assistance in the direction of your career. Remember, you are still at the proving stages so your own focus, talent and energies should be directed at doing the job right first and then networking for success later.
Be Open, Not Apologizing:
You don’t want to put those who you network feeling that they are doing you a favor, so don’t apologize when you ask for advice, answering a question or figuring out how to get something accomplished. Instead, you should be proactive and bring your situation to them in a positive manner that shows your eagerness to get the job done yourself with a little direction or guidance from them.
How to Improve your Networking Skills
Once you get started and have a feel for the business, you will need to step up your networking efforts so that you can advance your career in the direction you’d like to go. Whether you are aiming at the top of the company you work for, another company in the same field or starting your own business, there are a few tips that will help you network more effectively.
The most underrated skill in networking is listening. This means that you will need to listen carefully to those who give you advice so you can make the most out of what they have to offer. Even if what they tell you is no good, developing a reputation as a good listener helps get more people into your network.
Everyone is Important:
You’d be surprised how many successful and influential people start their work in areas that you might find unimportant. However, everyone is important and you must treat them that way. Otherwise you risk getting burned by ignoring or treating someone in a disrespectful manner.
All in all, authenticity is a key element for any entrepreneur, so being yourself is vital if you want to advance your efforts. You don’t have to schmooze or act out of character, just be who you are and people will naturally come to you.