Fans of Sesame Street will surely remember the song “People in Your Neighborhood.” Since first airing in 1969, this segment has been frequently revamped with new characters and professions.
Also notable is the fact that many of the Muppets were initially hesitant to interact with and/or meet other neighborhood people, until learning of the many benefits to the community and general well-being of its residents.
Authenticity Remains King
A simple web search will uncover a wealth of information on how to master the “art” of networking. However, in my experience, networking comes down to one basic rule: be yourself. People want to interact and do business with others who are authentic.
Angles, strategies, quotas, and similar senseless tactics are easily detected and downright off-putting. Think about who you’d rather spend time around: a person who clearly cares only for “closing the sale,” or someone with whom you can make a real professional connection, and possibly even a true friendship?
You’re Already Networking
So, the easiest way to get started with networking is to simply reach out to the people you already know, including acquaintances and those “people in your neighborhood.” Next, attend events and workshops on topics of interest to you. Expand your social circle when out for a night on the town.
Simply stated, networking can and does happen anywhere, even outside of traditional business settings. Savvy professionals must seize every opportunity to make and keep lasting and meaningful connections with other like-minded individuals. ■
another Market Me career branding presentation
by Frank Samandari
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