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4 Networking Tips for Blue-Collar Workers
If you think that networking is just for white-collar workers think again. Day laborers should connect with others in their field especially if they’re looking for their next job. Here are four tips on how you can network like a pro.
Reconnect with Old Friends and Co-Workers
The easiest way to begin networking is to start with people you already know and luckily social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook make it easy to do just that. Reach out to old friends, co-workers or past supervisors you haven’t spoken to in awhile and reconnect. Let them know you’re on the lookout for a new job or ask for advice/information on companies you’re considering working for. If they know someone you want to network with, it’s as simple as asking for an email introduction.
If you’re particularly shy and the thought of going up and speaking to people you don’t know at a trade show terrifies you, become a volunteer instead. Learn from a speaker while helping them get ready for their presentation. Chat with attendees while sitting behind the sign-up desk. Be sure to take down names and email addresses of people you do talk to so you can reach out outside of the event. It eliminates the awkwardness of starting conversations by creating opportunities for people to come to you.
Don’t Make Networking All About You
One of the biggest mistakes people make with networking is making it solely about themselves. Making connections with people in your industry should be a give and take relationship. Don’t take over a conversation and just talk about what you need. Actively listen to what a person is saying instead of thinking about what to say next. Also find out what you can do for them. That way they will be far more open to helping you.
Another big networking mistake? Not following up with people you meet especially if you’re looking for a job opportunity can be a big mistake. All it takes is a quick (yet professional) email or phone call a day or two after meeting. Let them know that you enjoyed speaking with them and you look forward to getting together again to discuss a job opportunity or get advice on advancing their career. If you don’t get a response, wait a week or so and follow up again. You don’t want to pester someone but you don’t want to let go of a great connection.
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