Networking (Net-work-ing)
“The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”
Definition of networking from www.Merriam-webster.com

Networking is one of the most utilized tools in the employment industry. The root of the word even has the word “work” in it, so you shouldn’t expect it to come easy. You have to make a concentrated effort to grow and cultivate your network. Professional Networking can be done in many ways; here are the 3 ways that provide the biggest impact:

  1. Networking Events
    a. Attend any and often.
    b. Join local networking groups.
  2. Social Media Networking – LinkedIn/ FB/ Twitter
    a. Have a professional page, and grow network daily.
    b. Join groups, alumni, etc.
    c. Connect.
  3. Talk to people.
    a. Elevator Pitch – be prepared to talk about what you do.
    b. Start Conversations – almost every time we speak with someone we don’t know, the question of “what do you do for a living” comes up — benefit from it, and connect.
    c. Go out and meet new people – be interested and try to offer some value to them as well.

New ideas, new business ventures and everything that comes from meeting someone new can be positive. I have never heard anyone say “I wish I didn’t network with that person.” Just get out there and get started. It takes work, but by taking advantage of networking events, harnessing the power of social networking sites and simply striking up conversations, you will be on your way expanding your professional network and benefiting from its positive effects.