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Jane & Harriet 
Knowledge is power. How important is this statement when it comes to managing your own career? No matter what stage you are at in your career, you should be looking at what could come next and the possibilities and opportunities that are going on around you. As a Career Coach my clients often ask for help around this particular area it is a skill to be practiced and mastered so that when faced with opportunities you know how to grab it. 
Here are my top tips. 
It is always vital to know what is going on within the environment around you, future business partners, and the world in general. This is about taking the time and effort to network with those around you. The more you know, the more you are able to network. Inversely the more you network, the more you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge. 
The art of ‘good networking’ is about creating a good first impression. 
Dress to Impress – The first impression is the most important. You want to make sure you are dressing for the job you want, not the job you have! 
Use your time wisely – Make sure you make use of the time you have during the networking event. You may want to meet the person who is running the event, but also you want to make sure you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to those attending the event. 
Make sure you are not monopolizing anyone’s time – You don’t want to be known as someone who doesn’t know when a conversation is over. 
Make sure others don’t monopolize your time – If you feel that someone is monopolizing your time, flip it around. Apologize for monopolizing their time and politely end the conversation. 
How to get over your nerves – Be confident! Walk into the event as if you are the one hosting it. The event is your party and the attendees came to network with you. There are visualisation techniques that my coaching sessions can cover in this particular area. 
Remembering names – You never want to forget someone’s name. This fault tends to be one that is not easily forgiven. A key tip to remembering names is to use their name at least twice within your conversation with them (this also makes the individual believe that you’re more engaged than the others around you). 
Talking points – It is always a good idea to do your research before attending an event. Research current events involving the company or individuals you are wanting to speak with. And don’t forget to ask to learn more about the person you’re speaking with — everyone likes talking about themselves. 
Nurture a relationship over time – If you meet someone at a networking event follow up with a call or an email. Check in with that person regularly. Invite them along to other events with you. 
Don’t shy away from contacting someone for a meeting or coffee – Most of the time people will say yes and taking this direct approach makes it harder to ignore. 
Don’t burn bridges easily as people talk – Always approach networking and meeting people with integrity and respect to others. 
View networking as long term opportunities not quick gains. 
To discuss “the art of networking” in more detail or if this is a particular area you feel challenged in and therefore holds you back from considering your next move, do get in touch for a series of coaching sessions on annabel@acexecutivecoaching.com 
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