Networking, according to this recent survey, is the key to winning at the rat race. The study revealed that 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. And just like any other pursuit, networking is a job onto itself. It takes time, patience, and a few good habits to move from friendly banter to a new business partnership with perfect strangers.
Forbes points out the three most effective habits of a successful networker and the second suggest is incredibly vital. Forbes contributor Falon Fatemi explains that reaching out to people only when things look dire is a bad strategy. Networking works best during times of abundance.
“Regrettably,” Fatemi writes, “many people believe that networking is only useful for landing a new job or getting in touch with key partners and customers. They tend to only reach out to their connections and build their network when they are searching for new opportunities.”
She continues, “the most effective networkers will stay in touch when they aren’t actively searching for new opportunities. During these times, they focus on giving, not getting. They offer to help others by, for example, volunteering to provide warm introductions, imparting advice on career advancement, and bestowing industry knowledge.”
These relationships forged when work is going well seem more genuine, and then when the time does come to look for new opportunities, those connections are more inclined to lend a helping hand.
Fatemi’s suggests also developing the habits of starting casual conversations with people instead of going all in on a sales pitch and allocating time specifically for networking.