Some people are born networkers, many of us are not. It can be an intimidating task to the more introverted among us, but it doesn’t have to be. Networking can seem very unappealing: who wants to approach strangers or impose on colleagues for favors? Yet that question betrays a fundamentally wrong understanding of networking. Healthy networking is built on mutual reciprocity. By helping each other succeed, we all win. To be a successful networker, you should not be focused on what you can take, but on what you can offer. Look for opportunities to add value. By doing so, others will be more than happy to help when you have occasion to ask them.
If networking isn’t your strong suit (or even if it is!), here are five things you can do now to increase your effectiveness.
Take someone to lunch
Give someone a business book you enjoyed
Write LinkedIn recommendations for three people you’ve worked on projects with recently
Tweet an article you found insightful, invite discussion
Volunteer to help with an upcoming event