Here are three networking hacks to help you develop and make the most of your professional connections.
1. Take advantage of networking apps and websites
Apps and sites like Bumble Bizz, Lunchclub and Ten Thousand Coffees can help you make professional connections, and find career inspiration and opportunities. Job seekers new to Canada may also want to check out Arrive, which offers advice and networking opportunities specifically for newcomers.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
One way to shift your perspective and ensure you are open to the learning and growth that comes with networking is by regularly doing other things that take you outside of your comfort zone. Learning something new can feel foreign and uncomfortable, and you can’t be sure of the outcome, but the more you do it, the more confident you become. Getting used to getting out of your comfort zone will help you be a more confident, successful networker too.
3. Balance your fear
If you find yourself feeling nervous during a networking event or opportunity, recognize that your fears of worst-case-scenarios are exaggerated. Focus instead on the wonderful opportunities that could come from acting despite your fear.
Superconnector and SCS instructor Jean Chow is currently focused on her successful professional coaching practice, aptly known on social media as @MsBizWiz. Naturally inquisitive, her professional career began in auditing and then pivoted to international development. This life-changing career decision required her to be on the move. Always being in new situations with unique social challenges in developing countries in East and Central Africa and Southeast Asia, Jean had plenty of opportunities to practice her networking skills. Jean knows instinctively what could be and is excited by the prospect of connecting people, ideas, and projects to get things done or to create something bigger and better. If she’s not on the squash court or climbing wall or behind a camera lens, Jean enjoys spending time as a volunteer mentor helping youth recognize and realize their potential.