If there is one tactic or skill that can make you extremely successful, it’s networking. In a world that is continually becoming more connected through technology, building solid relationships that are mutually beneficial has never been easier. While networking may come naturally to some or be challenging for others, it’s something that can be learned and constantly improved. There are many benefits to networking, while you may get lucky landing the right connection, often times it comes with persistence and hard work over a period of time. Also understand networking doesn’t always mean you are gaining a great business connection, sometimes networking simply means you are building great friendships. We need to know someone has our back; we have people who are there for us, and can provide with inspiration. It also works in the positive, if you surround yourself with the right people the right opportunities will come naturally. Whether you like it or not, you have to network. Listed below are some ways you can effectively network.

Build off your Existing Network:

You would be surprised to see the connections you can build off your extended family, friends or current co-workers. Invite them to coffee or lunch, learn about what they do, their experience and background and any other advice they are willing to give. Not only can this can possibly open a door for you, but you will gain a better perspective of the industry, job and be more well rounded when conversing with other people.

Networking Events:

Many people may fear this, and you may feel uncomfortable at times, go out and network, it’s a good thing. It will push you to go outside your boundaries, find things out about yourself you never knew and obtain stronger interpersonal skills. This can be at the coffee shop, networking events, gym classes, community events and several other opportunities.

Social Networking:

In today’s society’s almost everyone is on some type of social media. Follow relevant people or companies on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms, this will help you keep updated on the latest information. Additionally you can see what opportunities companies and people have to offer, what they look for, learn from their mistakes and possibly have the chance to meet them.

Maintaining Relationships:

After spending time networking, follow-up and stay in touch with your connections. If you’re looking to establish meaningful relations, then this will help tremendously. Ideally, you should be limiting yourself to 5 to 10 strategic relationships. When constructing these relationships you want to make sure that you keep in touch on a regular basis and that the interaction was worth their time – sharing a relevant article or a career update and remember its not all about you, make sure you show your interest in them too.

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