Networking: everyone does it, but how do you do it well? Building relationships based on trust and connection is truly an art. But many job seekers think they need to be pushy and overbearing and thus avoid networking to be labeled so. In reality, networking is simply a reciprocal relationship based on trust, where two parties help each other if the opportunity comes up.
However, the process requires persistence, attention, and, most importantly, goodwill. Job Search Infographics shows you how to navigate the process with ease.
Instead of focusing on the negative, keep a positive attitude through the process. Don’t be intimidated thinking you don’t possess the skills of your peers. Instead, focus on your unique skillset and talents that make you a valuable networking asset. Seniors, especially, have years of professional and personal experience to draw from. So keep your head up, and stay firm about the qualities you do possess.
According to Pew Research, 68% of seniors are uncomfortable with handling technology and fear using the internet due to how complicated it is. The fact is that the networking landscape has changed – from glitzy dinners to online interactions. Most of your job searches will likely happen online, as will meeting new people and setting up your business structure.
LinkedIn is an essential tool every senior needs to utilize, as it is a platform that allows people to network and find opportunities. Check out this great guide on how to set up your profile for maximum visibility and success. For example, you’ll need to ensure your account is up to date, without typos, and comes with a great profile picture.
You’ll never find that dream volunteering position or excellent work opportunity if you don’t make an effort! You’ll need to show that you’re proactive and open to communication. Do this by reaching out first to make a lasting impression and demonstrate confidence. If you want to pick someone’s brain and they’re swamped – don’t be put off. Networking is a numbers game, and not everyone you reach out to will reply. Just try again, and make sure you’re respectful in all your communication.
Sometimes, we need to make the opportunity for ourselves. Perhaps you’ve been putting off starting that business or getting that non-profit going. Why not do it yourself? And you can utilize your network for an effective boost too! Seniors typically have an extensive range of contacts from different experiences and careers, so go through your Rolodex and see who you can rope in. Otherwise, reach out and make new contacts you can hire at a consulting level or even work together as partners.
Following are some must-dos when starting your own business:
- Be mindful of context: Create a solution or organization that caters to the context or community. Try to innovate to cater to the needs of local industries, as that will help give your business local relevance.
- Form an LLC: Be sure to form a limited liability company to protect your assets with flexibility and little paperwork. Opt for using a formation service rather than a lawyer because it is more cost-effective. Anyone who lives in the region knows how high LLC taxes in Florida can be!
- Figure out funding: Your contacts will come in super handy for this one, as they may help connect you to wealthy donors or in securing a business grant. Figure out if you’ll start your organization using a loan or if you’ll be dipping into your retirement savings or pension plan.
- Invest in key tech that you truly need: This can range from equipment like a laptop and a reliable pair of headphones to help you stay on top of communication to apps and software to keep you on track of a variety of business functions.
These easy rules should help you succeed in all your networking efforts! Remember, the goal of networking is to build comprehensive and varied contacts which can result in improved business, new partners and opportunities, and having a support and advice system to guide you. Happy networking!