Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Networking can mean different things depending on who is being asked. Google defines networking as "The action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts." This definition seems like a very accurate description, but also only scratches the surface of what networking is. This week I have heard many people explain what networking means and tips for improving someone's networking skills. From all these different ideas, I have learned that my definition of networking is connecting with others to grow each other's businesses, skills, and lives. On top of this, surrounding yourself with people who support you and who you admire will also help you succeed.
Like anything else in life, networking is a skill that grows based on how much you use it and try to improve. Of course, some people will be better at it than others, but the people who feel they struggle in it should start on a small scale and grow as their skills and confidence improve. This could be done by joining supporting groups like Women Into Networking (W.I.N.), where support for one another is the group's driving force. Another way to potentially grow your skills is to join groups near you. For example, Toastmasters can help you be more comfortable speaking publicly, or informal groups such as Better Off Brunching can help you learn to network more relaxed.