Recruitment Tips

The Art of Networking: A Career Booster for Every Professional

Networking and expanding one's professional connections are critical conditions for confident career advancement and building a strong business. This involves establishing robust partnerships with other professionals through networking. Certainly, initiating conversations with strangers, especially in adulthood when there are already many tasks and commitments, can be challenging. However, the key here is the outcome, which will be worth the efforts invested. The Academy of Social Technologies provides insights on how to initiate valuable business connections and the rules of networking for beginners.

What is Networking?

Networking is the process of building and maintaining relationships with other professionals working in your industry or related sectors, helping to expand knowledge, opportunities, and connections.

Professional networking thrives at industry events, online communities, and professional associations. Let's delve into how to join a professional networking community and start developing your own contact base:

1. Attend industry events such as seminars and conferences where professionals gather to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and establish connections.

2. Participate in online communities serving as platforms for professional communication, information exchange, advice, and resource sharing.

3. Join professional and industry associations that bring together like-minded professionals and regularly organize thematic meetings and gatherings.

4. Seek guidance from mentors or advisors; building relationships with experienced professionals can serve as a tool for acquiring new skills and gaining in-depth industry knowledge.

5. Utilize social networks – share not only personal entertaining content but also showcase professional achievements, discuss completed projects, and make new connections in interest-based groups.

Networking involves informal interaction – engaging in conversations based on common interests, exchanging ideas and opinions, and collaborating on projects. Therefore, initiating a dialogue can be done by reaching out to a specific person via email or social media.

This form of interaction is beneficial not only during job searches. While network participants may introduce you to recruiters or recommend you for recently opened positions, the primary goal is not just that.

Networking helps to make friends, broaden professional horizons, and boost confidence. Ideas voiced by networking partners provide a foundation for professional growth and serve as a source of inspiration.

The Culture of Effective Networking

Building new relationships requires time and practice – attending a single event and expecting a strong network of professional contacts to magically appear is insufficient. Magic won't happen without a plan and efforts to support the strengthening of new business contacts. Therefore, the desire to expand or create a networking network requires preparation. For example, consider what you can offer to others: introducing them to contacts from your own network or participating in a new project, among other forms of interaction. Understanding the boundaries of what you can give to others will make it more comfortable and easier to build trust. Networking rules imply that participants not only take but also give. Therefore, when meeting other professionals, don't initiate conversations with requests for help.

Other principles of effective networking include:

1. Genuine Interest in Others – Forget about quantity; focus on quality! Instead of trying to meet as many people as possible, concentrate on conversations with a selected circle of interlocutors. Ask acquaintances to share their interests and actively inquire about their opinions on matters that hold significance for them. Ask questions and listen; be open to new information. If the situation is appropriate and the conversation did not touch on confidential topics, ask the new acquaintance for permission to share the essence of the conversation on social media. A refusal should not follow, as this expands the overall network of contacts.

2. Setting Goals Beyond Immediate Benefits – Pursuing short-term gains in business networking reveals a person's less appealing side. Remember that connections established today may yield results after 5, 10, or 15 years, or even provide no immediate benefit besides pleasant communication. Look beyond short-term perspectives; actions taken today accumulate value over time, but only if you continue to invest in them.

3. Seeking Common Ground Beyond the Professional Field – Remember that each networking participant is an individual, so strive to build connections through shared interests and hobbies.

4. Mindfulness in Relationship Building – Do not chase after titles and achievements of new acquaintances. Instead, recall with whom the communication brought genuine pleasure, and where many close or common topics emerged. Invite this person to a separate meeting or exchange contacts to maintain the relationship via messaging.

5. Keeping the Network Informed about Important Events and Sharing Useful Information – If you come across a valuable job opening or read an interesting article, share this information if you believe it is relevant for your new acquaintance. Interestingly, there is no need to ask for permission – valuable content will evoke gratitude from the interlocutor, and success will be when they start sharing similar information with you.

6. Exploring New Places – Engaging in a meaningful conversation can happen anywhere you go. You just need to be willing to explore new things and be open to interacting with other people.