Instead of fixating on AI and robots making humans in the workplace obsolete, we should be focused on enhancing our uniquely human qualities: collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and empathy. These “soft skills” are at the core of networking best practice and are the foundation of the future of work.
What makes us human can help make us successful. Leverage your humanity to build networks and to enhance your teamwork skills.
Work can be harder because you have to deal with other people! We are messy, complicated creatures filled with big career ambitions and too many anxieties to mention. Networking as currently constructed is an activity that fuels our worst fears (rejection) and discomforts (more rejection). Most people avoid it until a catastrophic event occurs (such as losing a job). So at the very moment you’re feeling the most vulnerable and raw, you’re supposed to make small talk with total strangers? Yuck. Time to flip the definition of networking on its head!
If you’re starting just starting out in your career and don’t think you have this “networking” thing figured out yet, don’t fret, you’re not alone. According to a survey of executives conducted by Robert Half Management Resources, the top networking mistake was failing to ask for help, followed closely by failing to stay in touch (or only reaching out when they need something). Building relationships is a skill you need to continuously work on – but the really good news is, a few small fixes in the day-to-day activities you’re already undertaking will put you on the right relationship-building track.
Networking can be the key to finding that dream job, but as we've said before, you've got to build it *before* you need it. Learn how to build that network with a future career change in mind.