By Sunny Jordan
Did opportunity knock at your door this morning? I am almost certain that it didn’t.
Opportunity did not knock at my door this morning. Instead, I knocked on the door of opportunity! If you want to make it happen you no longer can wait for an opportunity to find you. You must be willing to find opportunity.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word network is ” the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of “productive” relationships for employment or business. These associations can be personal relationships with friends, family, and others you meet in an informal gathering. They can also be business relationships you develop with vendors, customers, supervisors, subordinates, and even competitors you encounter during the course of your career.
Networking is not a let’s make a deal scenario on television with big time executes of companies. Networking is not about having over 10,000 Facebook friends. Networking is not a one-time incident, but rather a lifelong endeavor. Networking is developing genuine and mutually beneficial relationships.
In my book Learn How I Made a Fortune While In College: A Real-life Student Strategy Guide, I express my gratefulness of accomplishing the wonderful task of graduating college with less debt; in fact $60,000 worth of scholarships, grants, work-study and a part-time job. People often want to know the quick answers, resources, and ways to get this kind of money for college. The honest answer is it required hard work, dedication, drive, and resilience. One of the most valuable tools is the power of networking.
Networking is an increasingly important transferrable skill in the Information Age, and it can take you ten times closer to landing a job after college, becoming employed during life changes, career changes or launching a business. Networking is one of the most valuable tools you will use in your lifetime. Many of you have participated in networking without even realizing what you were doing. Check out the three valuable tips to work your network.
1. Know yourself – You will not be able to communicate your needs, desires, or expectations if you are not aware of them yourself. Begin to list your qualities, strengths, and weaknesses on a sheet of paper. This sheet of paper is for personal use. It will be your guide to becoming aware of who you are, what you have to offer, and areas that need improvement.
2. Create an “Elevator Speech” – An elevator speech is a short description of you! Imagine yourself on an elevator and the brevity of the elevator trip. In networking, you will use your elevator pitch to quickly explain who, what, when, where and why of your personal (career, resource need, and company) to your new acquaintance. This elevator pitch must be ready at al times.
3. Be equipped –Make sure you never leave home without your license to success. Business cards, resumes, letter of recommendation, and references must be accessible at all times.
Connections with the right people put you on the path to success. Being able to leverage your people networks saves you time, energy, and money.
Here is the great news!
Networking is not difficult or a chore. It can be enjoyable and rewarding part of your professional development. You probably don’t know how big your network is already. Have you heard the term six degrees of separation? Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the “Human Web”) refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.
Allow networking to be the key to opportunity, just in case, the knocking doesn’t work.
Sunny Jordan, MBA is an Entrepreneur, Author & Speaker. For more information checkout her website www.sunnyjordan.com.