Here in the Aarhus BSS Alumni team, we'd like to encourage more networking and knowledge sharing, and we've therefore created a small networking universe.
As a member of the Aarhus BSS Alumni Network you can not only find our networking handbook "The Networking Journey", but also make use of our Aarhus BSS Alumni network to make great contacts with Aarhus BSS alumni based around the world.
Based on LinkedIn group discussions we have - with a strong contribution from our networking expert (and one of our alumni) Charlotte Junge - gathered some useful discussions regarding networking.
"The Networking Mindset"
Networking is both about give and take – and a way to think and behave. A true networker always consider; “what do I know/who have I meet, that can be of relevance for others in my network?” – and uses his network when he needs something.
The essential mindset is that by networking we can help each other achieving our goals. Not by giving each other job, offers, gifts, free rides etc. - but by sharing our knowledge and creating contact between people.
The Networking Method
If you have a specific goal - use my Networking Method (it’s described in my new book "The Networking Journey" written in close cooperation with AU Alumni).
Step 1: Define your goal
Step 2: Define your part goal areas – you can always divide it into two: a) What knowledge do I need, b) Which contacts can give me or help me get that knowledge. It’ s the part goal areas you can approach your network regarding.
Step 3: Look in your network (which you have mapped) and find the relevant contacts.
Step 4: Contact the relevant contacts asking them for a network meeting or good advice on how you can find the knowledge and contacts you are seeking.
1. Goal: I am looking for at new job within Finance.
- Knowledge about the development within the finance area, which companies are focused on changes in their finance area, which competencies are in focus when companies hire new finance capacities etc.
- Contacts, direct who has knowledge about the area, indirect who knows somebody who has the knowledge or general who has a big network that can lead you to relevant contacts
3.Look in your network and choose the relevant contacts, you assume can lead you in the right direction.
4. Approach the relevant contacts in your network and ask them for a meeting, advice or a contact and use what you get to dig up new job opportunities.
A true networker
Sometimes in your life you have some specific goals, which you can use your network to achieve. In other phases you don’t – and here it’s also important to network. Think in what you can share with your network, be open to help others gathering information/knowledge etc. and creating contact between people who could be relevant/valuable for each other. In that way you act like a true networker and your network and their network will be open for you when you need it.
Networking - a lifelong Journey
Maybe you now think; I haven’t got time to network! My position is that you haven’t got time not to, because if you don’t nurse your network, it will be so much harder/time consuming to get the help you need, if a situation occurs when you need your network. Furthermore now it’s much easier to nurse your network than for just 10 years ago. Today we have all the social medias and the electronic devices that makes it easy to share knowledge and contacts with your network.
My suggestion is that you each week consider if you have got new knowledge or new contacts that you should share with your network or relevant people in your network and then upload it on the relevant social medias or phone/email the people direct whom it’s relevant for. This will take you approx. 15-30 minutes and in that way you nurse your network. What are your experience? - do you have any good stories or advice on networking?
Hi, Charlotte. Thank you for sharing your know-how with us. I have some questions. Can you give some examples of how to network at an event when you don't have a specific goal in mind? Or is it better to come up with a topic of common interest and show you're interested just in knowledge sharing? Also, meeting new people in various professional contexts and adding them on LinkedIn is easy. How do you take it from there in order to build relationships? What type of knowledge can you share on LinkedIn, for example, if the people in your network have very different professional interests? Thanks, Anca
If you are at an event and has no specific goal in mind, one of the best questions to pose to others is; 'what is your current focus?'. Also tell others in which areas you are interested in getting new knowledge. On LinkedIn you can share all kinds of knowledge you get about professionel topics such as education, news, events etc. and you can follow what others share and like it... The people in your LinkedIn Network can pick what's interesting for them.