By Felicity Chisom Jika
The saying goes, “It doesn’t matter what you know, but who you know.” The more you go out in the real world to build your career, the more you realize how true it is. In a study of about 3,000 people, done by Lou Adler, CEO of Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems and author of The Essential Guide for Hiring, Adler found that 85% of people got the job through their network. Networking is an essential part of building your career, but it is not as difficult as it may seem. We are human; we socialize to observe the people we are around and networking has the same concept. But if you are still worried, here are three tips to help you get started:
1. Go with Someone for Support
If you are going to your first networking event, it helps to go with someone. Maybe your fellow POW member, since we are here to support each other. Having someone with you could help boost your confidence and makes it easier to walk up to someone new when you are introducing yourself for the first time. They can also help you keep a conversation going smoothly.
2. Prepare for the Event
People can easily talk about themselves so you can use this as a conversation starter. You can also do some research ahead of time. Before going to any networking event, just like preparing for an interview, you can look up the individual, panel, or any organizations that will be attending. You should be able to find information about where they work and pre-plan questions you can ask them during the event. You can also look up who is running the event. This will help you make conversation run smoother. Pro tip: make sure that the questions you ask are thoughtful and not easily found on Google. Look at their LinkedIn page, to learn more about them, through that you could form more informative questions.
3. Have an Elevator Pitch
It is good to have a elevator pitch prepared. This is the introduction about you that you want others to know. If you do not have one, it is easy to make. Start with where you are now, where you have been in prior experience (if possible), and where you plan to take your career. You can think of your pitch as a way of telling your life story. The pitch should not take longer than one minute. Another way your pitch can be used is when an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself. The more you practice your pitch, the easier it will become and it will become second nature to you.
Most people get their job through a recommendation from someone in their network, so make your network strong! If you would like to start networking, please feel free to check out our event page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more networking opportunities! We want help you make networking a part of your DNA!