Networking is a chore, a pebble in your shoe, a rash on your … you get the idea. Too bad networking is a necessary evil if you want to get connected with people who can help you move up the career ladder. And to improve as a networker, it’s going to take effort.
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“Learning how to network isn’t just for people who are unemployed,” says career coach Dana Manciagli, author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era ($17 paperback / $10 Kindle @ Amazon.com). “According to a recent Gallup pole, 70 percent of the workforce is disengaged and unhappy in their current jobs — and they’re not doing anything about it.”
If you’re one of those 70 percent it’s time dust off the apathy and level up your job. And these tips from Manciagli will help you do just that. We went ahead and omitted common sense things, like make sure you have multiple copies of your résumé, a writing utensil and paper, and business cards to hand out. We assumed those were gimmes. If they weren’t, you’re hopeless and the rest of this article will do absolutely zero for you.
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#1. TREAT NETWORKING LIKE YOU WOULD A SPORT
Most people don’t enjoy striking up conversations with strangers about their career path. If you do, you’re a weirdo. The rest of us need to learn to embrace the awkwardness of networking instead of allowing it to overwhelm you.
“The more you network, the more comfortable it’ll become,” Manciagli says. “Don’t just walk up to someone and stand there like a fool. Be prepared with things to say and business cards.” Which leads us to …
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