Networking is all about connecting with other people; developing relationships with those who have shared, or common interests, and generating conversation with those that might offer some support to your business (or vice versa), either now or later down the line.
Networking is a skill that can take years to perfect. Networking traditionally took place face to face, although now it also happens across a variety of online platforms. In my personal opinion, face to face networking is still how the most beneficial connections can be made.
For many young people, networking can be all about getting your name out there to employers to discover work related opportunities and jobs. As you get older it can be essential to developing your career and progressing up the ‘ladder’.
You don’t often have to go far to seek networking opportunities, nor do you have to attend official networking events. Meeting with peers, new social groups, people with different backgrounds, and people of different ages can all be forms of networking. There are also lots of ways that you can network online (we will look at this specifically next month). Whatever you do to meet with or talk to new people is a form of networking.
When you are in an environment suitable for networking it is always useful to have some information about yourself prepared, ready for sharing. We always advise students to create an elevator pitch – a 30 second pitch that gives some basic background to who you are, what you enjoy, what you want to achieve and how others can help you. This can sometimes be all you need to encourage someone to offer you some support. Your pitch can alter as your circumstances change, and you can keep it structured but not rehearsed so it can be adapted easily depending on who you meet.
One of the important things to remember though about networking is that it’s not all about taking, and may not always feel like it’s of benefit to you. Often you have to give, and support others before you can reap the rewards of networking.
If you want to find out more about the options that are available to you locally please get in touch
Tel: 020 7986 5494