The saying that “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is correct. Studies show that 85% of positions are filled through networking. That means you cannot dare to ignore the power of networking even if you are not a social person. You have no choice but to interact with people in some way if you want to boost your career prospects. But what should you do if you don’t even have an idea of how to get started?
1. Join LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional network. It has over 675 million users, with at least 300 million of them being active users. It offers you an excellent chance to connect with professional peers from all over the world. Take the time to create posts and content and join online discussions where possible.
And the best thing about it is that if you are an introvert or a shy person, you can network online without meeting people face-to-face. That allows you to maintain the connections you need to boost your career without getting out of your comfort zone.
2. Join your local member’s club
Is there a local member’s club in your locale that you can join? It could be a club of people who share similar hobbies or careers. It could also be your local country club that accepts members from all walks of life, provided they meet the set criteria.
What matters is that it forces you out of your comfort zone and enables you to be part of a social community of people who share similar interests. These can include fitness, martial arts, public speaking, etc.
While it might not seem like it, those connections that you make with your fellow club members can get you that business contract or job you have always wanted or dreamed about. People tend to recommend the professionals they know rather than risk hiring strangers.
3. Join your College Alumni Association
Which tertiary institution did you go to? Are you a member of its alumni association? If you aren’t, then it’s time for you to join. Being part of a school tends to bond people together even when they choose different careers. If two people with the same kind of qualifications apply for a job, the HR manager can be in favor of their former schoolmate. So don’t underestimate what your college alumni association can do for your career. It might be the thing that makes you stand out in a competitive job industry.
4. Always have your business cards ready
Even if you run a home-based business, you should always have some business cards with you. Whenever you interact with people, you should hand them out at some point during your conversations. Research shows that for every 2,000 business cards that you pass out, your sales increase by 2.5%.
If you run a business or work in a job where your performance is judged by the sales that you make, then business cards can be handy as a networking tool. The people that you interact with might remember and want to recommend you, but if they don’t have a way to contact you, your efforts will be in vain. So distribute those cards whenever the opportunity arises.
Networking is about interaction with people, both offline and online. The kind of communication will vary depending on which social community you are part of. So you should choose a community that suits your personality to maximize the benefits of your career.
Brooke has been a connoisseur of back roads and obscure places since she was a girl. Growing up in a small working farm, she knew at a young age that there was so much to see and understand about the world. Since she left home at 17, she’s been gallivanting around the world. She’s a go-to resource for fearless Euro travel and extreme budget adventures. Her colorful experiences moving from one country to another with only time to spare will surely inspire you to leave the rat race and chase your backpacking dreams.