I have learnt the most valuable lessons over the past few days.
If you want to network effectively then start believing in yourself.
For me that was an epiphany. I have never liked let alone love myself and so is it any wonder that I can not network properly. Wow now doesn’t that make a lot of sense.
I have added a link to the bottom of this page where you can go if you want to gwt some self help. I know that brings up connotations of hugging and crying but it’s not. And if you choose not to do anything or don’t believe this is for you then that’s ok.
But let’s talk LinkedIn! Firstly it is one of the best networing tools available to professionals. You can stay in contact with professional referrees who aren’t potential friends but were work colleagues. That’s it’s primary purpose a great idea! But there is so much more it can be.
Essentially LinkedIn can be used as your online resume. Make connections to people you know and then see who b they know. You add people from companies you want to work with and mentors you want to be like. Everyday you can scroll through particular news feeds that you have set up to just for what you want to know about. Keep up with the latest cutting edge information for your industry. LinkedIn is the best networking tool for people who lack confidence or are just starting in a career too because they are able to “meet” alot of people without the face to face fear. Once their confidence has been built then they can organize the face to face. Or potentially this will just happen without any interference. It’s a fantastic tool that is building, changing and evolving daily.
Enjoy linking up!
Today I have done something completely out of character, I have signed up for 2 networking events. Yep you heard right not one but two of them.
After some deep breathing and soul searching I have come to the conclusion that this is something I have to do to get ahead. The first is actually something that just came upon me in my emails; It is an industry seminar for new graduates about writing up their LinkedIn profile to impress recruiters. Now at my stage this is precisely what I need. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have this land in my inbox at such as auspicious time. Talk about someone looking after me.
The second is a follow on from a previous conference I did a few weeks ago. I originally went to that because an acquitances son was involved and he was trying to build up numbers and thought I might learn something. Well to tell you the truth I did. I learnt a few things infact and am so ecstatic that I went along. I learnt that according to me only I have no real pitch to sell myself with, and I have been able to work hard on this aswell as increasing my social media presence.
The people I am meeting and working with in the new reinvented me so far are amazing, intelligent and awe inspiring. This next week is going to be one big ride I can feel it.
So today I was asked to do more psychometric testing. And you guessed it networking came up again, that’s before I even have the interview. So if I didn’t already get that networking was the buzz word of the moment I am now completely in awe of and overwhelmed by how much big business love it. Seemingly if you can network it is as good as being able to walk on water. But not would I love to know why this is so but also how are we who only have the ability to talk to people once we know them supposed to get around this dilemma. I’m not really sure after all I go to the meetings, forums, networking events I’m meant to but I still walk away empty handed or worse still feeling really bad.
Right so to turn this around I am reinventing myself on LinkedIn. Yes it’s a kinda cop out I mean I don’t nees to leave the xomfort of my home or actually interact with anyone true. But and it’s a big but I am a truly honest person. I am honest on social media as much as I am in real life so for me this is a big deal. I am finding old work colleagues and school friends in high positions and I am adding them to my list of networking peers. I want people to know who I am in my new life and the only way to do that is through networking.
Not only has my list grown rapidly in a number of days but I am being connected to some awesome people who are in the jobs and career I want. This is great!
Well here I am again posing all sorts of questions about networking and how to get around my fear of it. I am by nature a conservative, reserved, introvert (hey I’m an Accountant) so just the mention of the word networking makes me come out in a cold sweat.
I guess I learnt how really bad I was at networking during a recent interview with a major Big 4 Accounting/Auditing firm. Yep you guessed it they asked about networking and not how to do it (which I could of easily answered) but how I have used it to my advantage. Well the simple answer is I haven’t, never, nope, not once!!!! Perhaps this explains my career changes and total despise for said career after a few years. I read the other day a post by English HR Business Owner, Helen Jamieson where she said that women just can’t network properly because of their inability to see it for what it is. That is, women tend to delete contacts from their phones and deciding they no longer ‘like’ the person and must ‘like’ someone in order to want to speak to them again. <http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140904133426-31043052-are-women-useless-at-networking?trk=prof-post>. I could relate more to those words written by a person I haven’t met then I could by the countless number of friends, colleagues and family telling me that I just needed to by ‘nice’, ‘polite’, ‘tough’, ‘ditzy’, ‘funny’ and a number of other descriptions of networking.
So I decided to do something about this but in order to do it I need to step out of my comfort zone and completely trust in rules I have never learnt from the beginning. So here goes, but first of all I think I need to explain the all important question –
WHAT IS NETWORKING?
And of course the answer to that question is not simple! Essentially it leveraging business and personal connections to build on your business in the real world. Of course this also apply’s to those of us who are employees but in this case it is leveraging our business and personal connections to help us find new positions, hopefully with a new title, pay rise and more perks then lurks.
Seems simple hey! But here’s the clincher, you can’t just go and collect all these business cards at meetings and conferences you have to actually do something with them. OH NO….