SYNTK: How to Network

Hey there fellow newbies/interns/entry-levelers! How was your weekend? Mines? It was kind of crummy, BUT I am super excited about today for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s NOT Monday, so life sucks a little less (but it ain’t Saturday yet, so…)
  2. I have a BRAND NEW post for you!!!!!

So, this post will be the 1st in what will become a new series, entitled:  Stuff You Need TKnow (or SYNTK pronounced “sink” because it’s my blog and MY abbreviation) which will outline “stuff” That will HELP you in your career.

The first post in the series will be “how to network” which is a skill I think everybody should know, but (aspiring) PR pros need to know more than any other profession, because we thrive off of relationships…and how do relationships start? Through networking! **NOTE: this is in-person networking, not internet networking, that’s another post** Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to get you networking like a pro!

  1. Do Practice. Don’t feel like a dork, there’s nothing wrong with practicing some openers and icebreakers in the mirror…hey the Sims do it, so can you!
  2. Don’t Take “No” Personally. Hey, not everybody is going to be able to meet with you or have the time, be gracious and say thanks anyway & make a note of it, & don’t give up, you can try them again.
  3. Do SMILE. I cannot express how big an impact a smile can have: it brightens your eyes, makes you appear more genuine and open you up to more people in the room. BONUS: confident people smile, you’re confident, right? Then smile.
  4. Don’t Apologize. I know it seems like you are imposing on someone by reaching out and asking for help and/or make a connection. YOU’RE NOT, you’re not doing anything wrong, so don’t apologize!
  5. Do have business cards and ask questions. The first one is obvious: make sure you have a stack of (hopefully high-quality) business cards so people can remember you & have your information. And ask questions! They can be simple ones (open-ended ones are best, keeps the conversation going) but just ask questions and stay in the conversation!
  6. Don’t Be Afraid/Nervous/Anxious. I know, I know, business networking can be scary for even the biggest ex-campus hotshot. I mean, this is your career we’re talking about! But I promise, if you just go out there and give it your best shot and be yourself, it will get easier and you will get better.

Well kiddies, that’s it for this installment of SYNTK (remember, it’s “sink” like kitchen sink), I hope I demystified networking for you (a bit, at least!) and you are ready to get out there and start making opportunities happen! As always, I have some sources you can look into for further reading:
Dale Carnegie (literally wrote the book on networking in 1936, How to Win Friends & Influence People READ IT)
How to Network Effectively
How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People 
How To Network Like A Pro
24 networking tips that actually work
7 Tips for Networking

Good luck and happy networking, XOXOXO Jess_AsPRing

 

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5 responses to “SYNTK: How to Network

  1. Very good advice! I’m in Public Administration and can definitely incorporate these tips into my networking!

  2. I think these are good starting points, but would suggest adding some openers to get the party started or even some closers. You can be so nervous that you don’t know how to end the conversation.

    • Thanks, I am actually starting a whole separate page of openers and closers that can be used in networking, I should be publishing it in the next few days, please look out for it! Jess

      • That sounds like a plan. I’ve been focusing on marketing topics, but anticipate releasing a college graduate post tomorrow to discuss resumes. You should check it out around lunch.

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