These days, jobs aren’t necessarily landed based on skill or knowledge, but rather on who you know. If you already have the required skills for a job, consider it a plus; but most jobs or careers will accept those who know little or nothing and then train them. That being said, if you are in the business of trying to start your own business, or if you’re looking for a job- it’s always a good idea to have a solid network behind you. What do I mean by this?
Making the Connection
A while back, I talked about how important making the connection is. All this means is simply knowing someone on friendly enough terms that you can occasionally turn to them for advice. Ideally, you should try to shoot for having connections in various industries- not just your own. For example, if you’re interested in remodeling your home in some way, you may wish that you knew someone in that business who you could turn to just to ask a few questions. The same goes for business.
If you’re looking for a new job, which do you think will be faster: sending out resumes to prospective employers that you don’t know OR talking to a few of your friends who know someone higher up in the corporate ladder? Having said that, here are five additional tips for networking:
Respond: If you own a blog or have a website that regularly gets feedback, respond promptly, even if it’s to only say that you received his/her comment and will comment later.
Comment: Likewise, if someone is commenting on your blog, you should take the time to read their blog and comment as well.
Interests: Opposites can and do attract, but when you’re trying to network for business purposes, you should aim to connect with those who share the same interests and goals as you.
Expertise: If you’re extremely knowledgeable about something, why are you holding back? Blog about it. Start a website! Share what you have to say with others who will appreciate it and give you positive feedback.
Invite: Part of networking is allowing for the exchange of ideas. Put up a post or announce that you are allowing guest bloggers. Invite different points of view to your blog. It will not only make things more interesting, but it will expand your readership!