Step out of virtual social network
Where do you start networking? Is it all about give and take relationship?
Welcome to One Up Your Career – the daily info-vitamin capsule ?? by Unnati to help you growth hack your career.
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This week I am talking about networking during COVID. Today’s article is about a different kind of approach to networking. In the preceding articles, I also discussed the importance of having meaningful networks and ways to establish one.
Most of us are connected to a lot of people digitally but forging a strong network goes way beyond. Successful people often talk about forming a real relationship as opposed to the virtual one. In fact, the points I mentioned in the previous article about things to do online for networking comes after having a real relationship with people. It is the necessary first step to be taken. Let’s talk about it in detail.
Invest in Real relationships
Anyone who you know; family, school friends, college seniors, ex-colleagues etc form your network. But you do not form these relationships thinking about networking. It is a natural human instinct to socialize. Now, any relationships are like an investment. Before you expect returns, there is a long way of investing in the relationship. And this is something that cannot be orchestrated. It has to be in your DNA to genuinely invest time, effort, and emotions in any relationship. These are the people who will form the base of your network.
The above point begs the answer to another question, how do you invest in a relationship. Here’s how.
Give before expecting to receive
As I pointed out earlier, forming relationships is part of life and every person that you form a relationship constitutes your network. Relationships require an equal contribution by both the parties. Every opportunity that you get to help people in any capacity or form should be seriously considered. Whatever best you can do for them you should do. And it is not about expecting that each act of yours will be rewarded. It won’t but you will earn general goodwill and build a fantastic reputation. Good deeds go a long way and people do not forget selfless gestures. When the times come when you need help you will find plenty of open doors eagerly willing to help. That is the power of forming genuine relationships.
Since we are looking at relationships as a network, here is something you should remember.
The balanced network
There is a famous proverb that says, ‘bird of feather flock together.’ People with similar interests, cultures, and backgrounds tend to spend time with each other. But in real life, you need to defy the proverb. Of course, you enjoy the company of people with whom you have plenty in common but in order to keep a balanced network, mingle with people from varied backgrounds. Do not miss the opportunity to become friends with students from different college departments or try to spend time with the finance team. Say you are in the marketing field, this does not mean that your entire network should consist of people from the same field. Diversify. Take the initiative to connect with people from other fields and remember what we discussed earlier. It is not always about reaping benefits. Invest in a genuine relationship and your network will become stronger.
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