Approaching Community like Friendships
Do you struggle with networking and building long-term relationships? Building and maintaining relationships has always been a strength for some individuals, and that's something to be envious of. They remember the important details about people and can easily introduce others to hiring managers, making the hiring process easier. Learn more about networking and connecting with community in the rest of this article.
The power of building and maintaining relationships cannot be overstated. Some people have a knack for forming long-lasting bonds that endure through time. These relationships can provide invaluable resources, including job opportunities, mentorship, and entrepreneurial success. Even if you don’t have that knack, here are some ways to build that skill.
Start With Your Existing Network.
Your existing network is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked. Reach out to former colleagues, classmates, and friends to start building your “mental Rolodex”. Maintaining relationships with people you already know can lead to you making new introductions and also receiving new introductions in your community.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building and maintaining your professional network. Join groups related to your industry and engage in conversations to build new connections. Be sure to keep your profile up-to-date and showcase your skills and experience. There are so many great search functionalities on LinkedIn it would be hard to miss a way to connect with a relevant community!
Attend Community Events
Attend industry conferences, meetups, webinars, and other in-person and digital gatherings. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone new. Comment on LinkedIn Lives, follow the host and relevant panelists, and send them a note thanking them for the great insights they shared. Be forward-thinking and intentional with your relationship building.
Be Genuine and Authentic
When building relationships, it's important to be genuine and authentic. People can tell when you are not being sincere, and it can damage your credibility. Take the time to get to know people and show a genuine interest in their lives and careers. It’s as simple as talking to them just like you would a friend!
Keep in Touch
It's essential to maintain relationships over time. Schedule regular check-ins with people in your community and remember important dates and events. Sending a quick message on LinkedIn or email can go a long way in keeping a relationship strong. Don’t forget to give callbacks to previous conversations like, “Hey, I remember you said you were focused on XYZ initiative when we last spoke; how did that go?”
The best way to build strong relationships is by giving back to others. Offer to help someone in your community looking for a job, introduce them to someone who can help, or share their content on social media. Giving back to others shows that you are invested in the relationship and can lead to new opportunities.
Building and maintaining positive relationships is crucial for networking and job opportunities. Utilize your existing network, attend networking events, utilize LinkedIn, be genuine and authentic, keep in touch, and give back to others. With these practical tips, you can build a strong network that can lead to new job opportunities, introductions, and even personal connections.