A couple of years ago, while I was in University, I went to an event and on the program was a networking session.
Not to be dramatic, but my heart skipped a beat when I saw it, "what will I say? How will I start? What if it gets awkward?" were some thoughts that ran through my mind.
My anxiety preceding that session in the program made the actual session as daunting as I expected.
At the end of the day, the male washroom was my strongest connection.
Why is it important to network, and what are some practical ways to network? These are some questions we will be dissecting in this week's article.
It is helpful to see networking as a genuine relationship building exercise - not the usually selfish 'I am only being friendly because I need your services' approach. It is easier to start your networking journey by reaching out to people you actually want to be friends with and people to who you can show genuine interest and care. Reach out for friendship sake, genuinely.
It is helpful to see networking as a genuine relationship building exercise.
An African Proverb says, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
The goal of networking is to build mutually beneficial relationships.
The connections you make via networking go both ways because there are moments when you'll need help and other instances when you'll be at the giving end of assistance.
When networks have been created, it fosters a trade of ideas to sustain long-term relationships and mutual trust