By Liz Dsouza, Founder-Liz Lyn Careers
A lot of people get nervous when they think about networking and forget about how important it is whether you are a business owner, an employee, or a person who is looking out for their next dream job.
Networking can be stressful but once you know how to go about it, and practice a few times it gets better, I can promise you that.
Here are a few things to help you with your networking plans, how to start and how to effectively network and leave an impression.
There are a whole lot of communities, online apps, and groups that you can now join to get you started, look up a networking event happening around you and register for an event, maybe even take a friend in case you are nervous the first time.
Start connecting with people from similar industries to start off with so that you have common interests and topics to discuss
Socialize a bit more during the weekends with smaller groups to get comfortable
While networking, remember to walk around the room and not just stick to one group, and if you go with a friend or see someone you know try and speak with others in the room.
Introduce yourself clearly and give others a chance to do the same, listen more than you speak, people remember you more when you take n interest in their lives.
Storytelling is a great way to get people interested in you, but remember not to brag and keep the stories short
Always have business cards or a way to get people to have your information on them for the future
if you have taken business cards, remember to follow up with a professional email, saying "Hi" in case you need to connect in the future
Keep in mind that networking is not about how many people you meet but more about the type of connection you make and what comes out of that connection...