GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. -

We’re more con­nected than ever be­fore – and yet some­how we’re also less in touch. Which is why the abil­ity to network in per­son as well as on­line is a nec­es­sary skill – one of the most pow­er­ful pro­fes­sional tools and one full of ca­reer ben­e­fits. Net­work­ing needs you to be a lit­tle bold so don’t be the guy own­ing the cor­ner of the room/func­tion/bar/lunch/din­ner/con­fer­ence talk­ing to the col­leagues you al­ready spend too much time with. It’s also of­ten likened to a contact sport – that is, you need to be out and about and bump­ing into peo­ple. Do re­search and see where some peo­ple within your in­dus­try hang out, then get there. An­other key to strong net­work­ing is to tar­get spe­cific peo­ple. It may sound a lit­tle stalk­er­ish, but it’s sim­ply about re­al­is­ing who can best be of ben­e­fit, and seek­ing them out. When Trump sensed the par­al­lels be­tween his po­ten­tial vic­tory and Brexit, he ac­tively tapped up Nigel Farage, then leader of anti-eu po­lit­i­cal party Ukip, made friends, be­fore in­tro­duc­ing him as “Mr Brexit” at a rally in Mis­sis­sippi. The mes­sage to Amer­i­can vot­ers was clear – if the Bri­tish can do some­thing rad­i­cal, you can, too. Ul­ti­mately then, net­work­ing is about in­ter­act­ing and en­gag­ing for a mu­tual ben­e­fit. Farage’s pre-elec­tion friend­ship has seen him now be­come Trump’s go-to Bri­tish politi­cian with an even big­ger world­wide rep­u­ta­tion. So, on meet­ing some­one – a tar­get, let’s say – scout out the ar­eas where per­haps you can first as­sist them, be­fore launch­ing into your wants and needs. This builds trust, a sense of at­trac­tive­ness, and, over time, con­nect­ing be­yond a busi­ness level – be­cause clients and con­tacts move on whereas ‘friends’ re­main. There’s a rea­son How to Win Friends and In­flu­ence Peo­ple, Dale Carnegie’s 1936 tome, still holds up in to­day’s modern, elec­tronic-driven age – be­cause the skills of net­work­ing, or en­gag­ing with oth­ers, in per­son, haven’t overly changed. So get your­self out there and start net­work­ing to your ad­van­tage.

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