How to feel less icky about networking - Deepstash
Networking can feel awkward

Many people avoid networking because it feels awkward and unnatural. Research shows that networking to gain career benefits can lead to feelings of dirtiness.

But cultivating an effective network offers substantial professional and personal benefits, such as finding new jobs, obtaining promotions and receiving pay raises. A strong network is also associated with innovation, creativity, health and happiness.

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Turn the tables on your discomfort. Think of networking as an opportunity to give rather than to receive. Being a giver is the best strategy for building a valuable network that is saturated with reciprocity.

Even if you doubt you have something valuable to offer, you probably have more to offer than you realise.

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  • Ask questions. Instead of thinking of selling yourself, focus on the other person. Invite someone to share about themselves by asking open-ended questions.
  • Listen well. Give all your attention to your conversations, listen without interruption, and follow up with open and thoughtful questions.
  • Share experiences and perspectives. Fresh eyes or different perceptions are invaluable.
  • Send a thoughtful follow-up with an article, notice of an event, etc, that they might appreciate.

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