While I was studying for my MBA degree, networking concept was emphasized quite a bit. We were encouraged to attend various networking events and I realized that in the business world, networking is a must skill to have. Coming from an engineering background, the word networking had a completely different meaning for me. As an engineer, I didn't see a need for networking and couldn't quite understand the concept.
I would encourage everyone in the business world to embrace networking. However, don't just go through the motions. Here are a few tips on effective networking.
- Make networking a way of life. You shouldn't have to think “I am going to do networking now”. You should be unconsciously networking whether you are at a social, work or family event.
- Don't attend an event only when you think you will get something out of it. Sometimes by attending an event, you give back and it is very fulfilling.
- When you meet people at networking events, make a genuine effort to relate to them. Go beyond the usual exchange of work titles. See how you can help them in their mission. Give them something to remember you for.
- Keep in touch with people after you meet them at networking events through email, social media, phone, etc. Look for commonality with them, this will help to keep in touch.