Networking 101: From a PR student & young professional seeking a career in public relations
I’m new to the game of networking. I have, though, recently realized a few things that make networking easier and more effective.
- Be genuine. Making a good impression and building quality relationships starts with being yourself.
- The “Give and Take.” Networking shouldn’t be all about what someone else can do for you. It is important to build a mutually-beneficial relationship with potential clients, employers, etc.
- Participate. Be present in meetings. Take extra time out of your day to volunteer. Sign up for groups and sports teams. Everything you do is an opportunity for growth as well as an opportunity to meet new people.
- Ask. Treat everyone like a potential network connection. Simply ask questions. For example, you never know who your neighbor might know. Next time you strike up conversation, don’t be afraid to ask them genuine questions about their life and work experiences. Maybe they don’t know of a firm hiring nearby, but you still learned something!
Remember, the key to networking is to be a powerful resource for other people. Be someone who is reliable, knowledgeable and helpful. That way, when you need to ask something of a contact, they will be more than happy to help out. Also, it is very rewarding when your work benefits others.