How to network like a pro (podcast)
A while ago, I gave a talk at NatureJobs Career Expo in London, the UK’s largest career fair and conference for the scientific community. Find out how to network like a pro – and discover why introverts are great at networking in the podcast (8 minutes).
Networking really isn’t about business breakfasts. Nor is it about stabbing small pieces of cheese with desperation, thinking “Probably everyone else knows someone here except me.” It is simply about our readiness to say hello, to take the first step. Show your interest in other people and be curious about what they do. People won’t ignore you, be bored or think that you are stupid (common and unfounded anxieties about speaking with people we don’t know!). Saying hello is easier than you think and it’s just the start of what could be an enjoyable and fruitful conversation.
These days too, it’s not only about people you know, it’s about the people who know you! Make sure you have a positive and up-to-date online profile that allows people to know what it is that you do. It should express who you are and what you stand for in your professional life. Keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for what your connections are up to, scan for interesting initiatives and groups and for people who are doing interesting work. Get involved.
The more people who know you, the more you step forward to say hello, the more opportunities will come your way. Who knows where the next fruitful conversation might come from? Ask questions, show your interest and let people see your energy and enthusiasm. Cultivate your openness to opportunity.
And introduce people who might benefit from knowing each other too. Connecting other people is a generous act that helps everyone.