Networking Challenges All Professionals Face
Posted on May 18, 2018
Networking is vital to long-term career success. After all, how can you find bigger, better jobs, learn new skills or gain unique perspectives if you never venture outside that same, familiar bubble of colleagues and coworkers you’ve always had?
The answer is you can’t.
But as important as we all know networking is, it’s also hard – really, really hard.
How do you go about finding and connecting with the right people? What do you do once you’ve found them? How can you get the most out of your new connections and leverage them for success? Let’s look at some of the biggest challenges today’s professionals face when networking – and how to overcome them:
Finding the right opportunities
The first step is to identify the right opportunities – and to prepare the right approach. Are you looking for a more formal event where networking is the focus? Look to LinkedIn and EventBrite for potential opportunities, and come prepared with business cards. Try to get a feel for who will be there and identify anyone who might be a good match for your skills and expertise.
Would you prefer something more casual? A social situation that might allow you to meet others in your industry or field? Research local recreational sport leagues in your area, or head to mixer events for your college’s alumni chapter. These are both great ways to meet other pros in a low-pressure, fun way.
Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable
Let’s face it: networking can be awkward. You may have identified the right event or right person to talk to, but how do you break the ice and make that connection? How can you get out of your shell and show off your stuff? If you’re not the outgoing type, think ahead and try to develop your presentation and speaking skills. Consider joining a local Toastmasters club, or try speed networking instead. Much like speed dating, it puts you and another person right at the same table, with the same goals in mind. With both of you in the same situation – feeling awkward and new – it can take some of the pressure off.
Following up can also prove a challenge. What’s the next step after connecting with someone? Find them on LinkedIn? Text them? When you do connect, what do you say? Do you schedule a meeting or phone call? Consider your follow-up approach when you’re still with the person. Are they the go-get-em type that would want contact right away? If so, send them an email when you get home with your contact info. Are they a busy executive with a packed schedule? Wait a few days and invite them to the iConnectX platform (more on that below) to connect more formally.
iConnectX: The Better Way to Network
The iConnectX platform removes many of these challenges from the playing field. Simply pay a small fee, search through our roster of executives and mentors, and choose the one that’s the best fit for your skills, goals and style. Then, use our bridge to connect with them digitally – on the schedule that works for both you.
Best of all, your fee will go straight a charitable cause. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Learn more or sign up at iConnectX.com now.