I used to think of networking as a dirty word. It was this scary, sleazy necessary evil—packed with business cards, resume stacks, cheap white wine, and me acting like somebody I’m not.
I became good at networking only when I stopped thinking of it as a way to land a job and started thinking of it as a way to build a relationship.
You want to be a master networker? Great. Start inviting people to coffee. Don’t wait to reach out until you need something. Get into the business of connecting. Invite someone you’ve met recently out to coffee to get to know them more. Listen to their aspirations and share yours. Rinse, repeat, and don’t forget to follow up. One day, when you do have a favor to ask, you’ll be in a great position to do it.
What I just described covers fostering the network you already have. You will, of course, at some point want to meet with someone you’ve never met before.
Download our guide 5 Steps to Networking Like a Pro and get best practices for inviting, engaging, and making asks with new people ourside your network.
Michaela Gianotti is Koru's content manager. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.