SPEAKER'S CORNER: Abby Kohut – Network Easy

By Abby Kohut
On a recent Career Wake Up Call (http://www.CareerWakeUpCalls.com), a job  seeker asked, “How can I network at  in-transition groups if networking does not  come naturally for me?”
Networking is about meeting new people, sharing what’s on  your mind and then figuring out how you can help them with  whatever they are working on at the time. Some people  enjoy networking and are at ease when making new  connections. For others, it takes work to summon up the courage to attend an event when you don’t expect to know anyone else. Here are  some outside the box thoughts on ways to make networking seem easier for you.
Anytime you are having a conversation, you are networking. Talking to your  friends, talking to your family and talking to the person next to you on the plane,  is networking. You are simply getting to know people better than you knew them  before and trying to help them achieve their goals, no matter how small.
Getting involved in social activities is another form of networking. Meetup.com is a free site that lists over 2000 social networking events nationwide on all kinds of  topics. If you are a trekkie, a baseball fan, a movie buff, a real estate mogul, or a  scuba diver, you can attend a local event with other like-minded people. You may  not talk about your job search during the first conversation like you do at a career  related event, but trust me, the topic will eventually come up as you get to know  your backgammon partner, your scrabble buddy or your fellow astrology reader.  Volunteering is a form of networking also. As you are building the Habitat for  Humanity house, feeding the homeless or helping to design the Halloween  haunted house, you will find many ways to get to know the people around you.  Take advantage of all these opportunities to make new friends and to be open to  new possibilities.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Networking is the art of building relationships, which is an important skill to  master in any job. Networking is not about you asking everyone you know for  help. It’s about paying it forward and asking how you can help them. Continue to  network long after you land. Cultivate your relationships so that they grow into  lifelong friendships – that is the true meaning of networking.
Abby Kohut is an HR professional with 15 years of experience whose goal in 2010  is to help 1,000,000 job seekers get back to work. You can learn more about  Abby at http://www.AbsolutelyAbby.com

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