Networking is an exchange of information, a cultivation of productive relationships and regular communication. It is turning conversations into connections.
Building your network gives you visibility in the community, critical for broadening your horizons and providing a safety net for the future. It allows you to draw on others for advice, support and friendship.
Singapore is great for networking. There are many formal and informal events on and both are effective for networking. Remember there is only 2 degrees of separation in Singapore. It is a fairly small community.
For many of us Networking can be nerve wracking. Start with baby steps, you’ll come torealise that the more you practise networking, the easier it will become.
Do’s when attending an event
- Be yourself, be authentic and show the real you.
- If there is a topic at the event, do some research on that topic beforehand.
- Set yourself a goal, e.g. to meet and have 3 meaningful conversations. Remember that these conversations can lead to bigger things.
- Expect the unexpected, you won’t like everyone so be prepared to extricate yourself diplomatically.
- Ask yourself, what are the hot topics in your community right now? Read up on these topics before the event.
- Always show good manners, which is particularly important after you have had a few drinks.
- People enjoy talking about themselves so try to ask questions about them that will get conversation flowing i.e. How long have you been in Singapore? How long have you been in your current role?
- If you say you are going to do something for a person do it straight away.
- And join your new contacts through LinkedIn soon after meeting them.
- Be proactive and ask for advice “Do you know someone I can speak to”?
- Be collaborative and cooperative.
- Forget where you are.
- Be shy.
- Rely too much on the one person who you are getting on well with. Make sure you mingle; you want to ensure you always have a friendly face in the crowd at any event.
- Be afraid to ask questions.
- Over promote yourself.
- Brush others off or make assumptions. Keep an open mind about who you meet.
- Do too much for others without accepting something in return.
Adapted from Shikah Gaur’s presentation at the AON Professional Series “Kick Start Your Career in Singapore”