Of course, your success will always be contingent upon the quality of the connections you make. It isn’t enough to hand out and receive business cards and call it a day. You should be able to build long-lasting relationships with potential business partners and leverage your connections to meet new people. The interconnectedness of your professional network and your consistent use of these connections will contribute to your development as a professional.
The Transformation of APAC Job Market
At the moment, APAC is experiencing a shift in employment opportunities. The fast pace of technological advancements in the region has triggered uncertainty in the job market. More and more jobs will become automated, leading to displacement on the part of relatively unskilled workers. However, this transition will lead to the emergence of new career opportunities in growing industries.
The challenge then for professionals and businesswomen like you is to find out what jobs are projected to hold weight in the future, and what connections to make to expand your business network. Right now, industries that are believed to present opportunities over the years are wholesale & retail, manufacturing, transport, construction, hotels & restaurants, and finance & insurance.
Proven Networking Techniques You Should Follow to Kick Off Your Career
No matter what type of job you are vying for, it is always useful to have connections in different industries. It’s already a given that you need to build a network of people you can work and collaborate with daily but looking for bright individuals outside your primary field can have several benefits.
Here are some helpful tips you should follow to further expand your professional connections:
Attend Conferences and Business Meetups
The best place to build meaningful connections with people involved in the same professional field as yours is at Conferences and business events. Apart from being an opportunity to learn from experts about current issues and trends in your field, industry-related events are the perfect place to find interesting people who may end up being your colleagues or business partners in the future.
Don’t forget to look professional and have a business card with you. The first impression is still crucial when it comes to building relationships with people of business.
Smile and look approachable
Having a smile on your face is incredibly helpful when you reach out to people. Coming off as competent and confident is important, but so is looking friendly. An overly confident look might repel people, while being affable and smiley is the way to naturally attract people around you. By having a genuine smile on your face, it would be easy to approach and be approached by other people.
Be Communicative, Not Pushy
One of the worst things you can do at a networking event is to overwhelm your interlocutors with an aggressive sales pitch. While it is always helpful to have a brief elevator pitch ready whenever you need it, aggressively marketing your business (or yourself) is never a good idea.
Having meaningful conversations with other people, asking questions, and listening intently to what they’re saying is a much better strategy. You can talk about a wide range of topics such as the food, the speakers if there are any, and even professional anecdotes that happened to your or people you know.
From there, you can slowly build up a conversation focused on business matters, and what role you or your company want to play in the development of the industry. By having a natural conversation flow, you get to build relationships that would most likely last longer than purely professional connections.
Reach Out to Your Newly-Made Connections Regularly
Establishing connections during the first meeting is just the beginning of building strong business connections. To foster good relationships with the people you’ve met, you need to maintain regular contact with your network. Whether through short calls, texts, emails, or LinkedIn messenger show these people that you are still interested in keeping in touch with them.
Try to remember what you had talked about during your first meeting and start a conversation when you come across some interesting research about those topics. By nurturing your business connections, people will remember you and share important information that might be essential to you and your business.
Try to Be Helpful
When you think about building connections for business purposes, you’re probably trying to find ways to leverage newly established relationships for your own benefit. While it is normal, you also need to think about how you can help your new acquaintances if you want to gain and keep meaningful connections with others.
People are more incentivized to help you when you’ve already done something for them. After all, just like any other relationship, business connections are built on returning favors. Be as helpful as you can, and you’ll be surprised to see how willing other people can be when you ask for support.
Building Connections for a Successful Year Ahead
The job market in APAC and Australia is going to be more competitive than ever meaning that you will need to develop new skills and expand your network to stand out in the competitive crowd and be successful in what you do. Foster meaningful connections with others and you will see how it can transform your career.