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How to Network Like a Pro: A Beginner’s Guide

— May 13, 2024

It can also be a good idea to keep abreast of the latest trends in your industry, as well as job leads.

If the thought of networking brings you out in a cold sweat, you are far from alone. While a few brave souls love nothing more than starting up a conversation with a complete stranger, most of us mere mortals would rather stand quietly in the corner and watch others take the plunge. 

That being said, there is no denying how beneficial networking can be for your career, helping you to make valuable connections, explore new job opportunities, and get insider knowledge on your industry. 

Whether you are new to networking or your skills are a little bit rusty, the below beginner’s guide will tell you everything you need to do to network like a pro. 

Be prepared

If you are attending a networking event, you need to make sure you are adequately prepared. Take the time to research who will be attending the event, who are the guest speakers and what you can expect from the organizers. This will make it much easier to conduct conversations on the day itself and make you feel more confident in yourself. 

Always be ready to pitch 

You should always be ready to market yourself to others, no matter where you are. Ideally, your pitch should be no longer than 30 seconds and should effectively communicate who you are and what you are looking for. Make sure you practice your pitch ahead of any event so that you can quickly show what you can bring to the table. 

Attend corporate events

Image credit Sajjad Hussain M on Wunderstock (license).
Image credit Sajjad Hussain M on Wunderstock (license).

Although some corporate events can be as much fun as a trip to the dentist, they do offer the perfect opportunity to meet new people and practice your networking skills. Alternatively, if you own a business, you could organize your own corporate events, inviting all the most influential and well-connected people in your industry – just make sure you choose the right corporate event venue as this can make or break your event. 

Actively listen 

One of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to network is to speak too much and not listen enough. Nobody wants to hear you go on and on about how much you hate your current position or how you have this great idea for a new business venture. Instead, make sure you actively listen to the people you meet as this will make it much easier for you to make meaningful connections that will benefit both parties. 

Grow your online presence 

In today’s digital world, online networking is just as important as face-to-face networking, so you need to make sure you put enough time and effort into growing your online presence. Make sure you are active on professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter and regularly read industry blogs. It can also be a good idea to keep abreast of the latest trends in your industry, as well as job leads. Doing this can help to connect you with people that are worth knowing, and may even be able to advance your career.

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