Personal interaction might not be a cinch to everyone. But thanks to technology, it’s now at our fingertips. Personal or digital interaction is merely a choice, while both are effective ways to grow and learn.
Networking may come across as just a lot of talk, but career networking can be much more than that. It is about sharing, knowing, expanding and helping. Interaction is only a key, but not the goal. As daunting as it might sound, it’s an entryway to some exciting opportunities one might otherwise miss.
Here are a few starter tips, introvert or not, to kickstart your networking skills for mutual benefit and career growth.
Technology is your friend
The now App-based world is a holy grail, if only you know how to use it. LinkedIn, Meet-up, Shapr, Cityhour and LetsLunch are a handful that help with meeting people in your area, at your own time and theirs, and open a conversation on the topics that you both share in common. With apps like these, it’s not only easy to find people, but also helps cut through the awkward conversations, since the involved parties know their interests and what to expect out of their meeting.
Volunteering as a stepping stone
The definition has been broadened lately and this is an amazing opportunity to give-and-take, not in just monetary terms, but through services you can render to help an organization and, in turn, yourself. This opens a medium to meet many people contributing what they are best at as well as a chance to showcase your talents. Volunteering in what you are passionate about is a portal to career advancement where you meet and discuss ideas that might just turn entrepreneurial. Volunteermatch and Idealist.org are good places to explore.
Make the most of office happy hours
This in-network time is a good way to get in touch with coworkers from other departments. To step up the game and know more about what is going on across the company, happy hours are as lucrative as you can make them. It can also spring new opportunities for your career growth in other lines that you would like to peek at and pursue. Also, referrals are an effective way of bagging a job than solely applying through employment portals.