Busy schedules, family obligations, introversion are just some of the reasons most professionals do not prioritise networking. Then there are the ‘lone wolves’ – “I’ve succeeded on my own merit and didn’t rely on anyone else”.
Most lone wolves recognise the benefits of networking, but achievement of their current status on the strength of near solo efforts, has resulted in a lack of effort to network. It also obviously requires adjusting their mindset and behaviours, which can be challenging.
If you’ve avoided networking in the past because of lone-wolf tendencies or just don’t know where to start, here are our top three tips to turn the process into an enjoyable one:
- Understand networking – We tend to view networking as a highly caricatured activity. Try reframing your perception – see it as an activity that can help you make interesting friends for the long-term who share some common goals. This will make it far more appealing.
- Identify people you respect – Having attended one too many networking events in the past, filled with “business card swappers” , has undoubtedly left all of us feeling jilted. Filtering people you’d like to connect with usually helps. Try to look for people who are thought leaders in their fields, have shared LinkedIn connections, attend the same conferences as you or have similar holiday destinations!
- Recognise how your lack of networking may be holding you back – If you are unclear how networking can help you , take this short self-assessment we found via the Harvard Business Review to gauge the strength of your network. Your networks usually help you gain access to elite professional groups. Our Director, Sandra Karamitelios will vouch for this as it led her to becoming part of the coveted global recruitment network – NPA Work – which required her to have references from existing group members.
Using these tips and developing a thoughtful strategy to build lasting relationships will eventually lead you to a better professional journey. One that you can actually enjoy within the company of other professionals you can trust.
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