What contributes the most to your success in career and business? Is it strong educational background? Years of experience? Or great deal of money? While it is undeniable that those variables are crucial, but there’s one thing behind every successful story: The power of networking.

When it comes to business, networking is the key for efficacious practices. Be it job hunting, working on a new project, promotion, or any other professional achievements, getting to know the right people who can leverage on your skills, is more important than talent in itself.

It doesn’t matter if you have all the required qualifications for your dream job. Unless you meet someone who can ‘bridge’ you to the potential job, you will end up going nowhere in your career.

Then what does the word ‘networking’ actually mean? In general, networking is simply the way you exchange information with other people in the professional world. The truth is, you can build network with everyone, everywhere. It could be someone you just met on the subway, someone within your field of expertise, or someone outside your industry. The wider your network is, you can gain better business perspectives, expand reach and get more career opportunities along the way.

While this might sound simple, networking is always easier said than done. Due to many reasons, some people might find it difficult to build and broaden their networks. In fact, networking is not merely achieved. Rather, it is seized through real, genuine efforts. Be it formal or informal networks, every time you reach out and communicate to others, there is always a chance that they can form a part of your growing network circle.

So, how do you harness the power of networking in your next job search? Here’s how:

  1.    Change your mindset

Before taking to the streets and meeting new people, it is crucial to change your mindset and garner new approaches or views about networking. Networking is not just about how addition of new people in your networks and reaching out can help you in your next job search. Rather, it is a game of give and take.

If you want to be helped, then you should be willing to lend a helping hand, too. To make the networks work, you should be able to build upon a healthy relationship formed by trust and faith.

  1.    Develop a strategy

Every successful action always comes from a well-thought strategy. And it applies to networking as well. To help you make a concrete move, you will need to prepare a tangible strategy. Such as for example, you can schedule to attend networking events such as job fair at least two or three times in a month. Or, you can prepare yourself by sharpening your communication skills.

  1.    Prepare your weapon

While networking is not necessarily about professional relationship, you should always be ready to seize on an opportunity to meet people along your life’s journey and build on your connections. If you are on a job hunting spree, then leveraging on your connections with a well-drafted resume should help you land the job of your dreams.

  1.    Be proactive

Networking is not given. Rather, you should put efforts to gain it. Therefore, you should be proactive in your job hunting process. Internet might have everything you need without much hurdles and painstaking efforts. However, nothing beats the ingenuity of getting out and meeting the real people.

You can take advantage of social groups and professional events such as seminars, job fairs, or discussions to find networks.

  1.    Leverage on social media

In-person meetings strengthen relationships, and social media helps build and maintain it. You can leverage on social media channel to flourish professional networking. Using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter could be a great way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, or someone you’ve just met. You never know who might turn up to you with a lucrative business deal or a job offer in store.

  1.    Stay positive

Getting rejected from companies you have always dreamt of working, might impact your morale and self-esteem. However, don’t lose out on your zest for life. Rather, stay positive and face tough times with a smile. Don’t be afraid to grab every opportunity that knocks on your door and embrace change with positivity.

Next read: Should You Say Goodbye to Rigid Career Plans and Go with the Flow?

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