The Act of Social Capital or Networking
When you think about networking, what do you imagine? Many friends are gossiping with one another, or some corporate officers are discussing together on some issues. Is it the only thing that networking mean?
Networking is defined as making personal conversations and connecting with people. It can be creating a network with your classmates or your colleagues. The more people you get touched with, the more knowledge you will gain. Now, the question arises- how can you spread your network? What steps do you have to follow for building up the network?
Participate in Events of your Interest: You can participate in some workshops, seminars, or other programs. The workshops or any event must be related to your interest. If you randomly choose some events and join there only for creating a network, it will not work that way. Suppose you are interested in artificial intelligence, then participate in those workshops or seminars related to that.
Find People with Same Interest: Let’s say you join a workshop on Artificial Intelligence. Many unknown people are roaming around you, but they also have the same interest that you have! Everyone loves to talk about their passion. You can start the conversation by sharing your thoughts or ideas on Artificial Intelligence. Then they will also feel comfortable sharing their ideas. The conversation should be focused on positivity, avoiding nasty comments towards the events or the speaker. Thus, it will be a friendly environment and a mutual benefit as all of you will get to know more information about your same interested fields from one another. It will add significant value to your future life because some of them may work with you in the future or can be your good friends.
Use Social Media for Networking: If it is not possible for you to go out, you can use your social media to create a community or a social circle. You can share the post related to Artificial Intelligence. However, only sharing the post which you have seen will not work. Share your ideas or insights politely on it and let others know what you are thinking. Consequently, more people will share their thoughts on your post, and you will be connected to others with the same interest. Gradually, you will be more confident, and you can get out of your comfort zone.
Talk with the Alumnus or your Teachers: Any of your seniors or faculty may have gone through the same situation that you are in. You can ask for suggestions or advice on any subject-related topic or guidelines for your career. Build a network with them and try to learn from their excellent experiences or mistakes.
Keep a Balance: While talking to other people, you should keep a balance in your conversation. You talk for some time and then give a chance to others. Listen to their stories, give your valuable suggestions to them, and take theirs too. You can ask them about their hobbies, their interests.
Support others in their Trouble: Suppose someone shares their problem with you, and you know the solutions, or you can connect them with someone you know can help in this case. Thus, people might remember your help and try to pay back from their instinct. Still, you should support them without expecting anything in return.
Learn Elevator Speech: Elevator speech means to describe shortly about yourself within 30 to 60 seconds. By using elevator speech, you have to catch your listener’s interest within a few seconds. You have to explain who you are, what skills you have, and about your goals in brief. You have to pitch it whenever you meet someone new, which will help you in building networking and your career development.
Tips for Introverts: Now, if you think you are an introvert and cannot follow a few points mentioned above. You are too shy to talk in front of large groups or with unknown people. There are other ways around. You can start with a small group or one person with similar interests. Otherwise, you can meet with your old friend back to your school or college life. Rebuild your old network and practice interaction with them by recalling the old memories or any projects you did together. Alternatively, you can start communicating with your neighbor who always greets you, but you never get the chance to sit and talk together. In this way, you may connect with other people. You should stop avoiding people and make it easy for others to get access to you. In this way, you can progress step by step and meet with your new world.
Lastly, you always have to maintain the network that you have made with others. It will not be a good thing if you just network with others for a short time and do not care about them later. You have to polish your social capital and take good care of it.