Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S p r i n g 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 31 By Sheryl Nance-Nash W hat is it about network- ing that sometimes makes it seems more a necessary evil than a smart (some- times even fun!) strategy for moving your career, business, or personal life forward? Maybe you think you don't have time to run around to meetings and events, or you're a wallflower and chitchat is a challenge. ere are any number of rea- sons networking is not on the top of your must-do list. But if you succumb to excuses, you stand to lose. ose con- nections you don't make will be made by someone else. Take a deep breath and relax. There's a method to the "madness"—an art to networking. No worries if you're not a natural. Networking can be learned. Net- working pros offer a 10-step plan to do just that. 1. Get your head in the game Adjust your mind-set. "If done properly, networking can enhance your personal and professional life," says Devay Camp- bell, author of e BEST Job Interview Ad- vice Book. Your network and the relation- ships you develop will impact your net worth. e power of networking cannot be denied." ISTOCKPHOTOS Hate networking? Here's how to make it less onerous—and more rewarding. 10 Steps to Mastering the Art of Networking 2. Decide what you want to get out of networking Expanding your network is a lofty idea. "Be specific about the types of people you are ultimately looking to meet," says Nancy Shenker, founder and CEO of the- ONswitch, a marketing strategy business.' Ask yourself a few questions: Why is networking important for me? What do I want and need? "Some people are seek- ing partners, a mentor, a like-minded community, or new opportunities," says Campbell. "What do you have to give, or in what ways can you support others? Networking is a two-way street." "'A candle loses nothing by lighting an- other candle.' at quote is so true when it comes to networking," says Chris Borja, founder of Become a Better Networker. "Helping someone else doesn't take any- thing away from you—it helps everyone." Collaborate rather than compete. Imagine playing a game of poker, which is tradition- ally very competitive. What if you could "ex- change cards" with other players? "Every- one would end up with a better hand than Accelerate We Mean Business >

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