If you haven’t been following our #networkingforcareer success series on Instagram (click here to follow us on instagram)…all I can say is where have you been!!!! The session features established career women sharing their tired and tested tips on networking and even some of their career development hacks! It’s a must watch for the savvy ambitious female professional.
But because we love to share…we’ve decided to post some of the best tips shared. Today we are sharing the tops 12 networking lessons we learnt from Bukola Adisa, MD, Controls Office, Barclays.
- How I got my current job- My mentor worked for the company I work with now. During one of our meets ups I told her about the work I was doing and she mentioned that her company was working on something similar and she would introduce me to the person handling the project. At the time I wasn’t even thinking of a new job, but we kept in touch and the rest is history.
- I met my mentor at a networking event where she was on a panel and I found her very inspirational. After the event, I walked up to her and told her I would like to continue the conversation and we kept in touch for 2 years. At the time, I had no idea how powerful she would be in the achievement of my career goals.
- Women need to network because men find it easier to fall into pattern of networking. Guys are very upfront in their demands. But you don’t need to act like a man, be your authentic self.
- Without networking intentionally you can only take your career so far. Senior roles are built on relationship because people hire those they trust. As you become more senior technical abilities become less important and loyalty becomes more important
- Confidence becomes even more importance than competence. There are people who deliver but are not shooting their light out, confidence is important because two competent people can say the same thing but it will be perceived differently. This is because confidence affects even your non verbal cues
- Confidence is not a personality trait. It is an outward expression of how you feel on the inside of you.
- Mistakes women make when networking
-You stick to the person you came with, this is a colossal waste of time. Or sticking with the wrong person…instead make a polite excuse and move on
-Not being brave to meet others
-Networking unintentionally. Networking is something you must undertake with an end goal in mind
-Not re-connecting and/or following up with people you meet
- Network according to your personality. For example, I dont network in the evening, I day time network by having lots of coffee meet ups with people for like 30 minutes and I am also better at 1on1’s
- I avoided networking in the past because I didn’t understand its value and I hate small talk but I have learnt how to have confident conversations and steer conversations appropriately.
-Conversation starters, Start with general things i.e. food, tv shows, kids and then find common ground
-Be alive when speaking to people and move the conversation along
-People respond when they see other people are interested.
- Deepen relationships. No one wants to be contacted only when you need something. Send emails, texts, calls. It’s not about just having a network, the quality of the network is also super important. With my mentor I spent 2 years cultivating relationships before she became my mentor.
- Disconnect from the idea that your network is there to be used. Rather it is there to be enjoyed. This mentality frees you from expectation management. The benefit of connecting is in the connection itself.
- In the workplace perception is reality-You should network at work because you need an internal network that can stand for you when you are not there.
-How to cultivate an internal network- workout the influential people who demonstrate values you admire. People who will promote and enhance your visibility as well as give you space to shine.
-Become known for something positive, it enhances your visibility.
-In the workplace, If you are not at the table, then you are probably on the menu.
Want to learn more about how to use networking to achieve your career goals? Then sign up for the Career Women Online Networking Course. The step by step guide on how to use networking to achieve your networking goals. Registration to the course ends on the 13th of May and after which you will no longer be able to register for the course.To find out more and to register, please click here