If you are one of these people, you surely want to know how to network with people without feeling nervous or jittery. To do this, redefine your definition of networking. Try helping others without expecting anything in return; that is the best way to network. Think about it like this: When you help people, they will feel grateful to you and, in return, will help you too.
How do you expand your network by helping others? Here are some tips that you can use.
- Instead of asking for job opportunities, why don’t you try offering help to headhunters (from your field)? Tell them you’re ready to help them source for positions. Send them an e-mail saying that you’re willing to look for job seekers that they can hire, and/or that you have an extensive network of contacts in the field they’re looking at. Express your willingness to assist them.
- Offer people your assistance as much as possible through your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that your contacts’ questions are always sent to you via e-mail so that you can be available to assist them. Remember that you have to make connections with many people as possible because the more people you know, the more people you can help.
- Blogs and forums can also help you. Become active by posting articles about your area of expertise and by consistently joining forums, answering questions, and providing useful tips and suggestions. Who knows? One day, you might end up receiving an e-mail from a company interested in bringing you on board.
- Offer free services to your friends, family, and other people in your network. Tell them that you are willing to work or create something for them (depending on your area of expertise) and you won’t charge them for anything. With that, they might refer you to paying clients.
- Volunteer to do work for a charitable or nonprofit organization in your area. This is better than sitting in front of your computer all day, browsing for job openings. Someone from the volunteer organization might just be interested in offering you a job opportunity.
These are just some of the ways to expand your network by helping others. One good thing about this method is that while building your network, you get to feel good about yourself because you’re also helping others.