The festive season is here and with it comes the often dreaded work, festive party into a positive occasion thus raising your professional profile. Now is the time where you see articles pop up on how not to sabotage your careers at events are when you probably make the most readers worry even more.
Building a broad professional network is the key to unlocking business opportunities, obtaining more clients, and completing more sales. But no matter what your objective, having a wide professional reach is valuable in any industry, and in any circumstance. Plus, your network will come in handy if you ever need a new job. This year you can make this a chance to approach this with expectation rather than trepidation.
- Be strategic: While most of us go and catch up with existing friends at office parties, be strategic and think about 3 people who you really want to speak to. Seek them out ideally early on; ideally when they are on their own or in a small open group that looks approachable to newcomers. At the very least you can then use the friendly banter as an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role, gather info to help you get internal job applications after your PGDM in latest development, hot topics or business needs within your organization and sector which you have not heard of and hopefully impress decision makers at the same time.
- Cultivate a new network: If you are not connected to LinkedIn make sure you do it today, right now to cement new connections. Share blogs, business books, news, events and articles that you think might interest your new contacts. Show interest in updates on LinkedIn, reply on comments to posts and remain engaged with them
Still not convinced with the value of internal networking?
Think about it from your employer’s point of view. They want a safe person and it will be easier for them to recruit a known person than a complete stranger. By taking every opportunity to meet influencers and senior people from your firm, make sure to invest in relationships with key support staff as well when you are future proofing your career.
Still feeling uncomfortable about networking?
If you are not enjoying it, a social scenario can help you feel more relaxed about it. Here are some 4 tips that can help you to learn as well as enjoy networking.
1) Identify common interests: Show some interest in others’ lives and jobs, ask for advice, and express opinions on issues that can lead to the greater feel of authenticity.
2) Change your perspective: Focus on being a good conversationalist and listener and on what you plan to learn from them.
3) Find a higher, more selfless purpose in the interaction: You may be representing your Business School in Chennai, your profession, your gender.
4) Think well as to how you can give: It need not be information, expertise or resources. It may just be plain gratitude, an opportunity to make someone feel like a mentor.