Networking is all about a mindset. Here are some attitudes you should cultivate:
- Always be on the lookout for networking. Be ready to spot a networking opportunity.
- Every exposure you have to a profession matters, so dress sharply to all events and exude confidence. You want to make a lasting impact.
- Read up and keep well-informed. Make intelligent comments during a conversation, but do not be absurd or arrogant. Maintain a diplomatic and agreeable demeanour. Do not make random statements that have no context. Prepare before any event and keep in mind your goals.
- Widen your professional circle as much as possible. Every person you meet is another potential pathway towards your aspirations. It is not just keynote speakers that you should pay attention to. Look out for executives that intrigue you and go out on a limb to make sure you are recognised.
- Listen, and you will be listened to. Allow others to make a point and drop a word in. Try to be mindful and attentive to all the people involved in the discussion, as you learn from your environment and experiences.
- Rehearse. Take note of what you would want to put across. People will ask you questions, and you should be confident in your words, especially those regarding your professional aspirations.
- Connect with all the faces you meet. Be patient, as they might not respond immediately given the pressing work they have to attend to. Wait a reasonable period of time before you try to reconnect.
- Appreciate the contacts you make. Always thank the people who have helped you achieve your goals.
- Follow-up. Credit when warranted, especially if they help you secure a job or provide you with valuable insight.