Experts agree that there is a direct link between how well-connected a person is and how successful they will be in their career. Networking is an important skill, but many people see it as a chore. It doesn't have to be.
Here are three ways to master the art of networking in 2020, especially in an evolving workplace that has less in-person contact.
Keep Your Colleagues Close
Many people wrongly assume that they should only network outside their immediate workplace; people at other companies, different positions, or different roles entirely. In reality, your direct colleagues and managers can often be the most important to your career development. The best part is that you network with them every day- through daily conversations and collaborations. Maximize your relationships with your colleagues through company-sponsored events, and organize times outside work where you can cultivate a stronger connection with them.
Virtual Happy Hours
If you are working remotely, you may find yourself feeling isolated from your managers, colleagues, and professional connections. Daily interactions are at a minimum, and what contact you do have is through text threads and video meetings. Organizing virtual happy hours and lunch sessions can be a great way to connect with colleagues and meet people from other parts of your company. Play online games or just catch up. This is an easy and fun way to develop friendships at work.
Leverage Your Personality
While extroverts may excel at networking in large crowds and making their voices heard in meetings, introverts may prefer to talk to people one-on-one. In the new workplace dynamic of 2020, there is an equal playing field when it comes to networking. It all comes down to reaching out. Don't be afraid to send emails, messages, or calendar invites to people you find interesting. Use your personality to your advantage- introverts are great listeners, extroverts are great at communicating their ideas. Whichever camp you fall in, embrace your strengths and bring energy and confidence to your interactions.
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