By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes
As a coach to job seekers and budding entrepreneurs, there’s one thing I find true across all career paths: networking is king. Why is networking so important, you ask? One survey, for example, found that 85% of critical jobs are filled through networking. Another touts that 70% to 80% of new jobs are not even listed, meaning that networking is the only way to find these positions.
For some, however, the skill of networking is easier said than done, especially if you are introverted or would describe yourself as shy. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new position, or looking to land your first clients, if you’re not networking, you’re missing opportunities. Here are three networking tips that will get you out of your chair and into the mix!
1. Reach out to those similar to your level.
While it’s tempting to look upward for a bigger and better opportunity, sometimes it is most beneficial to talk to those near your same level. That way, when it’s time for a job recommendation or a performance evaluation, you can be on the forefront of your potential boss or co-worker’s mind and have a realistic shot at getting that promotion.
2. Talk about your “transition” versus your “job hunt.”
It’s always important to walk to the fine line between being aggressive and being mindful. Remember to emphasize your desire to grow rather than your dissatisfaction about your current position. This also gives you the opportunity to really know the other person you are talking with, as you can both discuss your goals, desires, and progress in your personal growth, rather than dwelling on the past and griping about your current situation.
3. Get inspired.
Whenever I reach a lull, I can typically depend on a solid Ted Talk to stay motivated. If you’re new to Ted Talks, here are some of my favorite talks geared toward communication skills.
- “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation” by Celeste Headlee: Celeste Headlee dissects conversation and includes her key ingredients to a great conversation, including honesty, brevity, and listening. She also includes excellent examples of what NOT to do, which includes multi-tasking (especially on a phone), using open-ended quotes, and more.
- “The Secret Structure of Great Talks” by Nancy Duarte: Nancy Duarte explains the importance of the all-important arc when delivering a speech or giving a presentation. These days, it can seem harder than ever to hold people’s attention, but Nancy’s insights provide some clarity on how to have your audience hanging on every word!
- “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown: Brene Brown talks uses her experience after spending six years speaking to people to dissect what unites us across all cultures. The answer is in our vulnerability, and this fascinating Ted Talk will keep your attention from the very beginning.
While seeing all these tips and recommendations at once may seem overwhelming, don’t let the influx of information get to you. As a career coach, I often remind people that it’s all about taking one small step at a time… and in doing that, just think of it as talking to one more person at the next social event. Soon, you’ll realize that the doors weren’t necessarily closed for you as much as you may have been mentally blocking yourself from opening them.
For a FREE course to land a new job you love, launch your dream business, or find your purpose, visit https://ashleystahl.com/