#SkillsYouShouldLearn: Networking

Read Time • 2 min.
By Zipline Careers Team • October 18, 2018

In this installment of #SkillsYouShouldLearn we’re going to cover one of the most important and long-lasting skills you can develop – Networking.
There are two things that make networking a great skill that is always worth doing and refining:

  1. It doesn’t matter what your career path, solid networking skills will help you.
  2. Networking skills can be learned by anyone, and at any time.

So how do you go about actually doing this?

First, it’s essential for you to take an inventory of where you are in life and you career path, and decide what you want to accomplish next.

Second, it is important for you to take a long and sober look at where you networking skills actually are, and how you’ve used (or not used) them in the past.  Regardless of your other accomplishments, all of us can always re-examine and improve our networking ability and emotional intelligence.

With that, let’s cover 5 excellent tips on how to be a successful networker.

1.  Just get out there and be confident.

Don’t worry about who you might find or what might happen, just get out there and politely meet new people. You can volunteer, help an unfamiliar co-worker or go to a meet up with a friend of a friend.

2.  Be more willing to listen than to talk about yourself.

Nobody wants to hear every last detail of your life, but you can make some great impressions by simply listening and asking questions about others. People are always happy to talk about themselves so, take advantage.

3.  Say “yes” more often than you say “no.”

Great things come to those who say “yes” to an opportunity like a favor for a new friend or an acquaintance.  Doing a solid job or saving someone who is stuck in a jam can open plenty of new doors.

4.  Don’t obsess over work, either yours or theirs.

Some people don’t want to talk about their jobs.  Likewise, many potential connections might not want to hear about yours immediately either.  Take your new meeting with a person as a chance to find your shared interests and a laugh

4.  Don’t obsess over work, either yours or theirs.

Some people don’t want to talk about their jobs.  Likewise, many potential connections might not want to hear about yours immediately either.  Take your new meeting with a person as a chance to find your shared interests and a laugh

5.  Take your wingman or wingwoman

For those of us who hate going it alone, there are plenty of ways to make being sociable a bit easier and fun. Take someone you get along with and go out with the simple goal of making some positive connections.

What’s great about networking is the opportunity for you to be as involved and active as fits your personal style.  From finding meet up groups, volunteering to teach classes, extracurricular work activities, and even bar hopping can all be a way to build great networks. Remember, there is no one way to be great at making connections and learning from others.

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