Oftentimes, young students or new graduates talk about bettering their careers through being proactive but find themselves stuck when it’s time to take action. Most of the time, they have all the resources they need, and yet, they are unable to put those resources to good use at an opportune moment. When it comes to improving your career, there are so many things you could shift your focus on. For example, your performance, your outlook, and how you put yourself out there. One of the most interesting ways you can improve, learn, or find better opportunities is via networking.
What Is Networking?
This practice is usually carried out in a professional setting where you exchange your information, ideas, and opinions with other people who belong to the same line of work or profession that you want to build a career in. You start networking by starting a discussion on a single common point or conversation starter before talking about your work and your achievements. Networking is all about making connections and getting to know potential mentors or employers.
How Does Networking Fail?
Usually, networking doesn’t fail per se, but occasionally, it can be slightly awkward. For example, you go to an office party where you meet many people who you’d like to connect with. You approach them and have a wonderful conversation, you exchange contact information, and then, that’s it. You might consider calling them or hitting them up via a text message when you are in need of their assistance but you’re not comfortable with starting a conversation with an alterior motive. Well, this is where this effective five-minute habit comes into play.
The reason why sometimes your networking efforts fail is because you don’t follow up on your conversations. It is important for you to stay in touch with the people you network with because they will most likely be more open to helping someone this way, even when they don’t want anything in particular. So, how can you do that? By simply sending them a follow-up email after they’ve shared their contact information. For example, if you've just gotten a promotion at your work, you can write to them to share your achievement–by doing so, you’ll be creating a conversation that solidifies the connection between yourself and the other party.
So, are you going to start writing emails to your social and work colleagues too?