Becoming a social butterfly will increase your network and enhance your job prospects.
We know it can be difficult to interact with other business professionals under pressure. Some of us are just not as naturally charismatic as others. That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your social skills in the business world. Read these tips to help you make connections at your various networking events.
Prepare before going. Don’t go into it blind. When you know who will be coming, do some quick research about their background. Find out what they’re interested in, and that way you’ll have a better idea of what to talk about when the time comes to create small talk. Additionally, if you hate networking, you won’t be able to enjoy it. Try to think about it in a different light. You’ll be able to meet some new people and you may even discover common interests with them. They may also have information that you’d like to know, too. Many things can come from a good conversation with someone you’ve just met! If you show genuine interest in them and what they talk about, they’re more likely to think of you positively, and you’re more likely to have a strong new connection. Also, if it’s an option, consider virtual networking events. Sitting at home or a a comfortable place can take much of the stress off of attending these functions. Many other people may be new to it too, and you won’t feel as out of place.
The key is to not stress about these events. Find whatever makes you the most relaxed before attending. If you can follow that, and remember these tips, these interactions should become second nature to you, and you will be viewed more positively in your job than ever.
I myself have never been particularly comfortable when it comes down to meeting new people and building up my network but I do see the advantages somebody who is good, and likes this activity, have when it come to better job openings and opportunities so advocate learning these skills.
Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).