Written By: Paul VanderGriendt, Event Management Coordinator Mentorship Session Diary. Entry 18
Networking is a skill we can use to make connections and build bridges that will help us throughout our journey to achieve our goals. Networking can often have a connotation of being something that is uptight and corporate, but it’s important to remember that we are just having conversations with real people. We have and opportunity to be present and expand our knowledge. Being confident in ourselves and comfortable when entering a room and meeting new people is so important in order to present ourselves in a positive light. We can very intentional about what we want to get across to others about ourselves.
Being able to do this starts with being prepared, knowing who we are and the things we want to say. Just because we are in a professional setting, doesn’t mean all of our conversations should be about work or school. Letting others know about our skills and experience is great, but people often benefit the most from making real connections. We can do this by talking about our values, our goals, what we are passionate about or what we hope to achieve in the future. Each of us is able to add value to every situation, and portraying our authentic selves is how we can demonstrate that in new interactions.
When we meet someone who we perceive to have status or that is more experienced than us, it can take courage to put ourselves out there. We can have meaningful conversations when we have the mindset to always be curious and enter conversations ready to learn. If the person we are speaking to has the same mindset, this is an amazing opportunity to build a relationship and demonstrate your individual perspective and personality. Sometimes these situations can be uncomfortable, but there are always times so we need to push out of our comfort zone in order to stand out and make an impact.