As we know that one of the keys to a successful career change is the willingness to create new connections, then consider these networking strategies.
Networking Protocol Tips
- Don’t waste people’s time, make time with people when you have some clarity about what you want to know.
- Know why you are meeting them, don’t rush to set up a meeting before you are clear what you want to talk about. If it’s an open ended fishing session be clear that they understand this too.
- Be informed about who you are meeting (use LinkedIn, a great resource, and do an internet search)..... but don’t stalk them!
- If you’re nervous about meeting new people, start small and practice with people who don’t intimidate you or you know from another context.
- Ask for introductions to avoid cold calls, use your common connections as well as weak links.
- Don’t assume your request is a burden for them. Most people are happy to help and talk about how they started and recommend who else to talk to.
- Do a follow up and thank you and leave something such as a business card for future contact.
- Pick up the coffee tab.
- Consider the value of karma… help others along the way.
- Remember it’s not just about you!