Not everyone loves networking.
Or at least the concept of it.
For a lot of people the concept of networking is off-putting, even salesy. But that doesn't have to be the case. Networking is a highly valuable tool no matter what industry you're in (or want to be in), and if you're not doing it, you're quite simply probably missing out.
Here are some of our tips on how to network if you hate networking.
Network with a giving perspective.
One of the most common reasons that people don't like the idea of networking is because they feel uncomfortable asking for things. Sometimes this boils down to worth and not feeling totally prepared to shout a new idea from the rooftop.
Other times it's simply a mindset that can easily be shifted. Instead of looking at networking as a chance to ask someone for something, try leading with your own value add. Even having clarity about what this is to yourself can help when you get into those networking conversations.
You might be looking for a client because you want a paycheck. But what would happen if your approach subtly shifted? Maybe you're looking for a business that would truly benefit from your unique perspective or a service that only you provide.
Don't forget why you do what you do.
Keep Your Boundaries
Adding more networking into your life does not mean that you need to give anything else up. You don't have to accept every "pick your brain" request that comes your way. Just like you don't have to accept every job offer that comes your way.
Protect your time and resources the same way you would at any other situation. Find clarity about what you'd like to get out of networking, and then stick to the standards that work for you and your professional life.
Use an App
Some people are natural networkers, or super connectors. You might know someone who seems to know everyone without even trying. If that isn't you, you might be wondering where one would even start.
Attending networking events is always an option, but we like the ease and convenience of using an app. We developed the Renge app to allow for real time networking, anytime, any place. When you open the Renge app you can see "who's here" in real time and then browse the available profiles to see if anyone seems interesting to chat with.
Being able to meet people in real life cuts out all that awkward back and forth messaging that happens on other apps. Most of us are better at talking face to face anyway, and having more conversations in person means that we have fewer messages to catch up on later.
Using the Renge app is a no hassle way to turn anything from a coffee run to a happy hour into a networking opportunity.
Network Before You Need a New Job
While networking out of need is bound to happen, it's better to network when everything is going along is planned. When you're open to growth...but maybe don't need it to happen tomorrow. No one responds well to pressure or desperation, even if it isn't meant to be directed at them. When you network from a place of lack, it comes across. When you network from a place of abundance, that also comes across. If you seem to be doing well, people will be interested in learning more about how you're doing it, and possibly try to join you in it. Or recruit you.
Find the Fun in Networking
The concept of networking should actually feel a bit fun. When you remove the pressure element, what you're really looking at is endless chances to meet new people that could possibly change your life.
And if you make networking a habit, you increase the likihood that these chance encounters start turning into meaningful ones.
Click here to download Renge and start meeting the right people today.