Do you believe networking is a chore? Does it feel more like a burden than a blessing – similar to cleaning out your garage on a radiant weekend when you could be sailing along the French Riviera? Read on, there is a chance that your beliefs are keeping you away from opportunities and relationships.
Our new normal is more about connection and less about isolation. Podcasts, videos and books offer a plethora on how to bring pleasure into the networking equation. Even so, professionals are finding it difficult to turn it into a way of life. Have you ever thought of networking in English as a way of advancing your career? Here are 4 excuses I have come across in my experience:
- I’ve made it this far, I can do it on my own
- Networking is so fake
- I’m shy and an introvert, networking is not for me
- I have to speak perfect English to connect with English Speakers
Turn these beliefs on their head starting now. In your language journey, regardless of your level aim to be:
A networker is Connected, curious, caring because networkers invest their energy on knowing the person and look for ways to make a valuable contribution to others.
I was raised by a hispanic mother who is both a culinary enthusiast and a networker par excellence. She is driven first by how she can serve others. This way, she doesn’t burden herself with becoming someone she is not, whether she is fluent in English or not. By focusing her energy outwardly she connects and is connected with people from all walks of life. People know her by how she makes them feel. Her desire to learn about people and how dishes are made—from ancient traditions to the latest trends is her driving force. If cooking isn’t your cup of tea (which I can absolutely understand since the consecutive lockdowns have forced us to cook more than we would like to) then look to your hobbies or passions. What comes easily to you, what do you enjoy doing, what could you spend hours talking about? Connect from this space of expansiveness and generosity.
To network you must be attentive and aware. It’s not about you and it’s all about your surroundings.
My children are able to recite the phrase they always hear from me when we travel: “be aware of your surroundings and remain attentive”. Way back, when my children were smaller and I was the only adult with only two hands, I wanted them to be alert at what was happening at all times. When so much is going on, stay alert at what happens around you, opportunities arrive when we are present and not lulled by the daily routine or feeling sorry for ourselves because we are not where we want to be in our careers.
Sharp networkers listen more than they speak. If you’re not feeling confident about speaking, then listen closely.
Do you want to be an authentic and confident person while networking to advance your career? Listen up. Being an introvert makes you an excellent networker thanks to your ability to create intimate and lasting relationships. Your ear is active but your body language is what helps others open up to you. Verbal cues, eye contact, being able to repeat in context what the other person said makes you a memorable person. Online or offline and with all levels of English you will be remembered for your attention to detail. Take it further by sharing their topics on social media, participating in their online communities, sharing their blogs and articles (hint, hint). Never underestimate the influence you can have on others regardless of your English level.
Release the beliefs that limit your potential, Learn from those you connect with and allow your expertise to speak for itself.
Thanks to the fulfilling relationships you will build with networking you could even bring some friends along to help you clean out your garage. Navigating your career with ease will be a breeze indeed.
If you enjoyed reading this article, look out for my next blog post where I will share the 3 types of networks and what they’re useful for.
Leonilda Renaldo, Language Coach
I support professionals in becoming daring communicators in English, French, Spanish in all professional situations. Book your free consultation today!