Professional network: the 5 golden rules to develop it

Professional network: the 5 golden rules to develop it, Where and who to start? How to choose the right events, the interesting interlocutors? Do you know if you are wasting your time or if, on the contrary, you are using it wisely? Formulate requests – but which ones? – without seeming too opportunistic? Whether you want to build it or enrich it, whether you are a young worker or an executive looking for a new position, the professional network is not always easy to explore. “We don’t learn to network at school, although in my opinion it is a hard skill , which requires training, methodology and training, regrets coach Isabelle Sthémer, creator of the Le Trait d’Union program. In our culture, networks are too often seen as occult links, reserved for an elite, when everyone needs them. ” And, above all, that everyone can expand theirs provided they are guided and venture into the jungle of professional lunches s, round tables and afterworks with a few main principles in mind. Start with relatives The first one? You already have a network, built without realizing it according to your studies, internships and first positions, but also, undoubtedly, around a glass of wine or at by a swimming pool, in summer, with friends . “We can start with this memory exercise: retrace the thread of our life to remember those we have met, take a look at their LinkedIn account and try to find out what has become of them, advises Isabelle Sthémer. Because we shared something with them, we have good reasons to reconnect. New Year’s greetings are a very good occasion to do this . ” This is also true with relatives, family or friends. While their role is not necessarily to accelerate your career, they themselves have a network that they can activate. Sometimes it is enough to confide your professional desires, doubts or questions to those close to you so that they will remember a former colleague, childhood friend or distant cousin who could help us. Vary profiles “After this first level come the experts: lawyers, developers, accountants, graphic designers, what do I know, lists Isabelle Sthemer. We necessarily need, at one time or another, these specialized profiles. For oneself, or for others. ” Building up an address book of reliable professionals allows, the day a contact asks us, to recommend a particular engineer or press officer. So to be of service to everyone – the key to building trusting relationships. “The third and final level is made up of VIPs, media people, with brilliant careers, themselves at the head of networks, continues our coach. It is always good to be the groupie of two or three more or less famous people and to be noticed by them. ” No need to jump on them: attending their conferences and speaking during question-and-answer time will be enough to be spotted and facilitate the meeting – around a cocktail cup following the round table, for example. Should we focus on our sector of activity, or expand to other areas? “It all depends on the objective,” answers Isabelle Sthémer. If you feel good about your career, without any specific problem, you can go all out and network in very different worlds. If we are looking for a new position or if we raise funds, for example, we will target more, in a qualitative approach. ” In video, 7 good reasons to leave home by telecommuting Being disinterested The preferred angle of attack? Take an interest in his interlocutor, his profession, his career or his projects. “Asking questions is less stressful than talking about oneself, it arouses more sympathy and, above all, you learn very quickly how what the other needs, so starting you can help. We can then lay the foundations for a bond of trust, ”explains Isabelle Sthémer. This is the paradox, but also the keystone of networking: we do it to advance our long-term career, caring first and foremost to facilitate that of others. “I sometimes see people happy to return from an event with business cards, not knowing what they are going to do it. Networking is often confused with a commercial approach: the first does not include any financial transaction, unlike the second. Networking is based on information sharing. To get it, you have to offer it, even without a guaranteed return on your investment. Before looking for opportunities for yourself, you first try to be one for others. ” The podcast to listen to Trigger meetings For that, nothing better than to trigger meetings – it’s is the whole point of a network – without being erased. For example by inviting two people, likely to help each other, to drink a coffee with you, to facilitate the first contact… and to impress on their minds your role of intermediary. Or, at a minimum, by sending them a connecting email – rather than giving each other’s address. “Becoming a connector in this way arouses interest, other people come to us and we then have access to quality information.” Be yourself. .. but be prepared It all sounds very strategic. It is, but not to the point of changing its face in the professional sphere. “An effective networking implies trusting each other, therefore remaining authentic, underlines our coach. To disguise too much, to hold different speeches in front of each other, one risks being trapped, without being able to be sincere at all. Better to stay yourself, even if it means displeasing. ” Which does not mean to jump into the deep end without preparation. It’s all about the dosage. Networking is based less on a perfectly marketed image than on tools to stage yourself, without inventing anything: knowing how to present yourself quickly, concisely and adapted to different interlocutors , learn to pitch your job or your business, or even acquire techniques for sneaking into a discussion and approaching someone at an event, for example. Techniques that we can train, but that we refine especially by practicing. Hence the importance of getting started, as soon as possible, but at your own pace. 194367