Are You a Reluctant Networker?
Turn Networking into a System Rather than a Fear
How do you feel when you hear the word Networking? I have many reactions! Sometimes I’m excited to meet new people. Other times, I’m a ball of anxiety with the prospect of reaching out to old contacts or embarking on a new journey. As a career and life coach, I’ve established some tips to help me survive networking and I’m sure they will help you, too.
Tip #1: Get a Plan: A plan turns networking into a system to follow. If you meet people on Zoom, follow up with a connection request on LinkedIn. Be sure to include a personal note to remind the other person of the event you shared. If you meet people in a class such as Zumba, accounting, or pottery, make it your mission to meet and learn the names of 2-3 people that afternoon. Write them down in a notebook so you will remember them later. Tip #2: Get ready to Ask: The word ASK is a big piece of the networking puzzle and if prepared, easy to improve. First, be clear about who you are--beyond your name and address. If you are a writing coach, narrow your focus to its simplest terms, “I help entrepreneurs write business proposals.” Second, when meeting a networking connection, ask WHO they know that you can help. By getting ready for the ask, it will get easier in time. Tip #3: Do More of What You Love: Do you enjoy hiking, going to a coffee shop, or singing in a choir? There are so many ways to join groups and meet others while feeling at ease too. This is a form of networking and a great way to have fun doing it. Tip #4: Establish a Strategy for Your Personality: Networking is easier now than ever but self-awareness is a big part of establishing a strategy. By having a plan, getting ready to ask, and doing what you love, you will be working WITH your personality, not against it. Want to learn more about your personality? Consider taking an Enneagram or Strength-Finders personality assessment. These professional evaluations will help you understand your temperament and help you capitalize on what works best for you and help you turn networking into a system rather than a fear.
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Executive Mom Nest Advisor Becky Roth MSW, LMSW, CPC knows the value of hiring a coach. Her approach to coaching is to serve as a thinking partner to individuals wanting to improve their path forward. With a goal-oriented approach, she works with clients to create and manage an individualized career or life plan.