This article is a continuation from last week.
“To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust.” George Ross
These are my next five tips:
Discuss different ways of handling technical questions, where people are applying, what career-related events people are attending, whether they can share contacts with you, what they know about the different companies, what questions they have been asked at interviews and so on.
To get ahead it is best to treat your peers as collaborators not as competitors. The more open you are, the more others will share information with you.
2. Always send a follow up email to new contacts: a ‘thank you’ or ‘great to meet you’ email always goes down well. In addition, you can elaborate on a discussion you had or perhaps remind them to send you something that they said they would or vice versa.
3. Join LinkedIn. You can use this as a tool to connect with any new contacts you have made. Try to get your lecturers, colleagues and any previous managers that you’ve had to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Potential employers may see it.
4. Find a mentor or a coach. A coach will give you constructive feedback on the quality of your answers to interview questions, your body language, the tone of your voice and importantly how you can improve.
5. Finally, don’t ask silly questions! After joining a niche investment banking-related society, I had exposure to many high-ranking bank officials at networking events and I made it a point to ask something smart, so much so that my peers began to recognize me as the girl who likes asking questions. At the end of the experience the organisation awarded me recognition as ‘The Most Insistent Person.’ Don’t ask me what that means!
How To Fend Off Lustful Men
Let’s face it. The majority of people that you need to network with and impress are going to be men. We still live in a society where most key positions are held by men. It’s important when you are networking that you don’t create the wrong impression because when you get the job you may find that there are some tasks on your job description that you didn’t realize would be there. Or even worse, the worst offenders will try to get sexual favours under the guise that they will get you a job. You should not need to stoop to this level.
First, dress appropriately. If you’re dressed in a business suit that isn’t too tight-fitting or revealing unnecessary skin the way you look won’t encourage bad behaviour. Next, don’t flirt in any way shape or form. Flirting in a Western context usually ends there but my friend, in Malawi, people always want to take it to another level. Finally, talk business only, keep off personal topics as much as possible. If you are looking for a professional job you should be able to discuss related topics.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful and that you will begin to take action to get the best job possible for you!
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” Christine Comaford-Lynch
For 2 years until early 2014 I wrote a weekly personal finance and business column for Malawi's leading media house, The Times Group. The target is middle-class, working African women.
This is a reproduction of the articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Malawi News.
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