While strengthening your communications skills and fostering your thirst for knowledge can positively impact your job performance, don’t forget the importance of networking. It’s a Mindful way to further your career.
When you think about traditional networking, you may assume that it involves attending special functions and making small talk with other professionals. But it’s more than that. Networking means building and maintaining connections with other professionals so that they can help you and your career and in return, you can assist them.
Networking can positively influence your career on many levels. By networking, you can build upon your list of contacts, referrals, and customers. Networking with a wide range of professionals can help you gain insight in a field or subject you’re unfamiliar with. Networking helps you stay abreast with trends in your industry. And networking is also crucial for finding a job. According to a Right Management 2010 study, 41 percent of the 60,000 participants landed a job through traditional networking.
6 Mindful Work® Networking Tips
- Build your network dream team. Consider all influential people in your life like family, friends, former professors, former classmates, co-workers (former and current), and mentors. Also, consider volunteering to make connections with people in your community or joining organizations and professional groups related to your career.
- Mindful networking habits. Develop your networking habits. For instance, bring your business cards with you, so you can make contacts wherever you go. Stay in regular contact with the people in your network. Remember that while chatting on the phone is great, face-to-face sessions are better. Always have questions prepared, so you can take advantage of their wisdom. Be an attentive listener. Remember that you can’t build a network overnight; it’ll take some time to build on your contacts.
- Social media and networking. While certain aspects of social media can affect your job, it can also help with your networking connections. Consider websites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Stay up-to-date. Make sure that you have updated contact information for all the people in your network including phone numbers and email addresses.
- Give thanks. Don’t forget to show the members of your network that you care. Treat them to lunch. Remember their birthdays and send them holiday cards. Also, hand-written thank you notes are rare nowadays and always appreciated.
- Don’t forget to help other. Networking is a give-and-take relationship. So, be prepared to assist others in your network dream team.