How to network

How to hone your networking skills

There are two magical words to crack networking and in this article I lay them out:

I recently wrote a post about what networking is and why it's important and relevant for anyone. This article will delve into how to network.

Networking can be summed up in two seemingly unconnected words: confidence and coffee!


Effective networking requires a 'nothing to lose attitude'. You truly have nothing to lose by asking to meet up with someone for a catchup with no strings attached! 

As an example, let us assume that a friend mentions that they're family friends with a Director of a Company that you'd love to work for. You truly have nothing to lose by asking your friend if it's ok to contact the Director just for a friendly chat about their work. What's the worst that could happen? The friend might say no. Then what? Nothing! Alternatively they might even say yes and give you the Director's number! Then let's say you have the Director's number. Are you going to call? Of course you should, you've come this far and you've got nothing to lose. What's the worst that could happen? The Director might say no. This is unlikely since the connection came from a family friend. However, if they do say no - you've not actually met them so have lost nothing! Networking is all about have the confidence to put yourself out there.

Linked to confidence and putting yourself out there is the idea that you should be keeping yourself aware of who people know. Take an interest in people's jobs and who they know they'll love the attention and you may just get a useful contact out of the interaction.


The second key word to networking is coffee. Go for coffees! Coffee is great. It's a stimulant. It tastes good. Most people drink it or drink a variant of it whether it be tea, frappacino, mocca, or hot chocolate! This means that most people are willing to come and meet you for a "coffee". 

The great thing about coffee is that it is fairly time independent. Coffee can mean that you want to meet the person for 15 minutes or a couple of hours. Coffee gives you the freedom to see how the interaction goes. If things are going badly finish up your drink and apologise saying that you must dash!

Coffee also means that you can meet fairly early in the morning, at lunch or early evening or afternoon. It is flexible and not as committed as an actual meal. I always think that you should offer to meet early in the morning before work as it shows you're an early riser and eager to get things going in the day.

Coffee is cheap so it shouldn't cost you too much to take out loads of people! Just remember that you should always pay. Don't even argue about it! They're doing you a favour.

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