Networking is the art of cultivating relationships, and this is often a long, ongoing process. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Everyone is important. That struggling, unemployed bag of nerves in the corner may turn around in a year or two and become a calm, key player in this unpredictable business.
- You are important. You have useful skills and talents. If you value yourself, others will value you.
- Present yourself with confidence. Let people know who you are and what you can do. But remember not to cross the fine line between eagerness and aggression.
- The people you need may need you, too. Don’t underestimate the value of helping out in someone’s office, running an errand or painting a set. Favors are often returned in this business. (It’s worth the gamble.)
- Be open and flexible. Resist that easy impulse to dismiss someone’s request — a moment’s thought might call to mind somebody who knows somebody who could help.
- Be specific. State exactly what you need in a clear, specific way. Vague needs and unclear requests are hard for others to deal with, in any kind of relationship.
- Be conscious. We all tend to filter out important information that could be of help to us. Listen carefully. Listen consciously. And hear the intention as well as the words.
- Be in touch with your true beliefs. Your beliefs will shape your attitude and your attitude will influence your outcome. If you believe the resources are out there, you will find them; if you doubt and feel discouraged, you may block your own way.
Networking can be a person-by-person pathway that leads to your dream.