I’m willing to bet, in some point of your life, you’ve heard the following phrase.
“It’s not what you know, It’s who you know.”
It’s true. You can know everything there is to know about a thing, but knowing the right people will always produce greater results.
When I was of age for a job, like as soon as I turned 16, I was job hunting… hard! I faced so much rejection due to my young age, my lack of work experience and my limited availability as a student.
It wasn’t until my mom put in a good word to a friend of hers, who managed a local Jack in the Box, that I actually received a job offer.
If my mom, never had that friend of hers, who knows how long I would have been searching for a job.
It was in that moment, when I realized I only received the position because someone my mom knew was able to pull some strings. That’s when I knew how important it was to know the right people.
I strongly believe that all the right opportunities will open up for you when you surround yourself with the right people.
Here are 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Networking in Arizona
1.Have Clear Goals
When networking, the type of people you are looking to engage with should be as clear as your other personal goals. If you really want to meet them, that is.
The relationship you’re after, should be looked at as an investment. It’s all about meeting the right people.
I mean, if you go out networking with just anyone, you run a high risk of getting the complete opposite result of what you want.
It’s easy to find people to waste time with.
It’s hard to build meaningful relationships with valuable people.
Think about the reason you are networking, this will help lead you in the right direction. What is the desired result you hope to gain?
Are you looking for a new job?
Are you looking for an investor?
Are you looking for a companion or a romantic partner?
2.Go Where They Go
If you want to be successful in networking and connecting with the right people, you have to find them.
Sure, you could continue to live your everyday life, holding on to the possibility that everything you need will, one day, magically fall into your lap. Or you can be realistic and accept the fact that you have to work for the life that you desire.
Let’s say you are looking for a new job, what would you be looking for?
I’d be looking for local job fairs, local networking mixers, and even local business shopping events.
The job fairs are obvious. Everyone that shows up to a job fair, is either looking for a new job or hiring for a new job opening.
At networking mixers you get the opportunity to connect with professionals within different and, sometimes, similar industries. Everyone involved is actively looking to meet new people.
The business shopping events are a stretch, but understand this, not everyone posts about their available opportunities online.
If you’re lucky, you’ll a business owner, who could use some help or that knows another business owner needing help.
3.Be What You Want to Attract
To make the connections with the people you desire, you should be able to offer skills, experience and other value in equal or greater value to that person.
My momma always said, “Nobody wanna deal with anybody, who ain’t got s***”.
I certainly didn’t understand that as a kid, but I definitely understand now. Nobody wants to be around people, who don’t have anything because they need everything.
Money might be the first thing that comes to mind. & most times, it is a person’s financials that are lacking.
People can also be lacking personality, creativity, positive energy, ideas, consistency, courage, credibility and so much more. I can, literally, go on for days.
Ask yourself, what do you bring to the table that can bring value to others? That’s the best thing you can do, for the other person.
The worst thing you can do is waste their time or yours.
4.Prepare for Rejection
Rejection is usually the hardest pill to swallow behind putting yourself out there.
Understandably so… Imagine, working hard to prepare yourself for a networking event and the first person you muster up the courage to speak with, wants nothing to do with you.
Your confidence is going to take a hit! It’s completely normal.
I remember when I used to people watch from the porch as a young girl. I wasn’t allowed to leave the porch.
I love people watching!
Anyways.. there was a point I was so excited to see people and have the opportunity to make friends with passer byers. I would say something to everyone who passed by the porch “Hi!”, “I like your hair!”, “You look nice!”, and other short phrases.
I learned really quickly, some people, will really ignore you lol.
Some people just don’t care to talk to you and sometimes it’s nothing personal. Some people just don’t want to be bothered.
The first few times I was ignore, it hurt. It’s like, “dang, what I do to you?” or “what’s wrong with me”?
After awhile though, it didn’t matter. I just stopped caring.
I learned to look for certain body language that often ended with me being ignored and just skipped them. What mattered most to me were the pleasant interactions I was able to make.
5.Learn Basic Communication Etiquette
The most important skill for success in any relationship is communication. I would strongly encourage you to learn some basic communication etiquette.
I think communication is one of the biggest weakness in our community. I’m confident we can identify a semi-unified way to communicate, disagree, and present strong emotion, without it going to something negative or destructive.
With a lot of effort and patience, of course.
The black community uses a lot of slang and Ebonics in regular day to day communication. The problem with that is this can quickly lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings amongst people of different backgrounds.
In a professional or business setting one needs to know how to communicate their message in it’s most simple form. A form that anyone from anywhere could understand.
If you can master that communication, face-to-face, over the phone and written, the world is yours!
Relationships take a lot or time and energy to build up and get to a point where you can reap the rewards long term. I, highly suggest, you take each and every opportunity seriously to gain the most and lose the least.
“Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you are.” – Unknown
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