by Dr. Regina Campbell
“When I compliment you, I compliment myself, because I am who I associate with.” Jarod Kintz
Today’s job market is about how you position yourself for the next opportunity. It’s about creating your personal brand so you can establish your value to an organization. Networking is not passing out business cards it’s about how you create value to the persons in your network circle. The person in your network needs to believe that your skills and talents are valuable. In today market’s place people are looking for mutually beneficial relationships. A mutually beneficial relationship is when your skills and talent are beneficial for the other person and likewise for you.
When you attend a social or work related event is when you should focus on strengthening your networking skills. You should always set a goal of meeting 3-5 new people. When you attend a networking event learn to get out of your comfort zone and approach someone you don’t know. Whenever you meet someone for the first time it’s usually uncomfortable but here are some questions you can discuss to break the ice or get to know someone.
Questions you can discuss:
Where do you work?
What do you actually do for (company’s name)
How long have you worked for (company’s name)
Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to face your fears and become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being comfortable with people you don’t know will strengthen and stretch your networking skills. Networking must be strategic thus you don’t have to feel a need to obtain everyone’s business card or accept everyone’s invitation on Linked In. More important if you are on Facebook be careful who you accept someone as a friend as organizations now research your connections on Linked In or Facebook. When you connect with someone in the social media connect with someone of like value and that person’s Facebook page should reflect your values. Finally increase your networking so you may strategically place yourself in the best position to obtain your next opportunity.