Networking is an activity whose objective is to expand the network of professional contacts. Thus, business and / or employment opportunities are generated.
In other words, networking means developing a social circle. This, with people with whom you can start a business or get job opportunities.
The term networking comes from English and translates as "working with a network of contacts."
Achieving professional success depends largely on having a quality network of contacts. Therefore, networking is key in working life.
Types of networking
Depending on what we do, there are two types of networking:
- Offline: All those face-to-face events where you can meet people related to business and the workplace. For example, series of conferences or workshops where after the presentations the attendees are spoken to in a more relaxed way.
It is a method that allows you to meet people directly and empathize with them. However, it requires social skills to do it correctly and not miss opportunities.
- Online: All those methods where connections are established through social networks or applications. For example, in professional social networks such as Linkedin, the profile of each user is their resume. Thus, you can see where he works, what he does and what possibilities exist to establish synergies or seek employment or collaborators.
This is a cheaper, faster and more comfortable method with which to reach a wider number of contacts from anywhere in the world. But the connection is made in a cooler way.
Objectives of networking
Among the objectives of networking are:
- Make your product or service known in a more personal way and in a more relaxed atmosphere, which will give you greater visibility and reputation.
- Create commercial relationships between companies and potential clients, suppliers or strategic allies.
- Discover new business opportunities among potential partners or investors.
- Acquire more knowledge about the market environment, competitors, internationalization possibilities, synergies, risks or new opportunities.
- Get new job alternatives by establishing relationships with headhunters (talent hunters) or company executives who can recommend you.
All this will translate into a mutual benefit for the parties, in more sales or in possible strategic alliances.
Ways to network
There are various ways of networking, among them are:
- Work on your personal brand: Have a profile on professional social networks such as Linkedin, actively participating in it. For example, adding new contacts, participating in discussion forums, or sharing news, posts, and comments.
- Attend related events: Attend conferences, workshops, breakfasts or courses and participate proactively in them. For example, in lectures or forums, talking to new people after the activities and trying to get that exchange of interesting contact cards. The idea is later to get a private meeting.
- Keep track of contacts: When they write us comments on our publications or private emails, reply to everyone and keep those relationships updated. After attending a networking event, it is advisable to contact those who have left us their card. This, to secure that opportunity and move towards the next meeting.
- Develop social skills: It is important to know how to actively listen to the opinions of others. At the same time, you should share your experiences and points of view, introduce yourself and speak with people who are not from your closest circle. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you expand your contacts further.
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