J. Kelly Hoey is a writer, podcast host and speaker who specialises in helping people build better, stronger personal connections to help them achieve success in their career. Kelly is the author of ‘Build your Dream Network’ , hosts a podcast, YouTube channel and can be reached via her website, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Kelly kindly agreed to share some insights on our blog in answer to the question – ” What’s the best advise you would give someone at the start of their career who is anxious about building a network?”
1. Discard the old definition of networking is the first place to start. Networking is about building relationships not schmoozing at mixers and here are endless ways to build connections, from volunteering to engaging with co-workers and staying in touch with professors after graduation.
2. Remember you already have a network. Friends, roommates, classmates, the kid you worked alongside at the part-time job last summer – all of these people are part of your network. The key is to consider and value them as such.
3. If you’re thinking about expanding your network to have more support in your professional field or to reflect your career interests, volunteering is a great way to start. Offer to help out at industry events (pro tip: handing out nametags at an event ensures you meet everyone in attendance). Sign up for a community day at your place of work. When your busy in an activity, you’re less likely to focus on your anxiety over meeting someone new.
One final thought. Remember you’re not the only one with networking anxieties. The people you’re aspiring to meet or connect with may share the same phobia to traditional networking activities.
And [check] out my new podcast as questions like this are exactly why I created it (and wrote my book):
– Christian Jameson-Warren