20+ Networking Skills that Will Help You Succeed in 2023

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Networking is a vital part of any professional career, and it is becoming increasingly important as the job market becomes more competitive. In 2023, having a strong network can give you an edge in finding new opportunities and advancing in your career. But networking is not just about exchanging business cards or attending networking events – it’s about building genuine relationships and connections with people in your industry. Here are 20+ networking skills that will help you succeed in 2023:

1. Active Listening

Active listening is the ability to fully focus on and understand what someone is saying, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. This skill is crucial for networking because it shows the other person that you value their input and are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Here are some key points to keep in mind when practicing active listening in networking:

  • Give the other person your full attention. This means putting away your phone or other distractions, making eye contact, and nodding or responding appropriately.
  • Ask open-ended questions. This will encourage the other person to share more about themselves and their experiences.
  • Listen for the main points and ask for clarification if needed.
  • Avoid interrupting or finishing the other person’s sentences.
  • Show that you understand by summarizing or paraphrasing what the other person has said.
  • Practice active listening in all your interactions, not just formal networking events.

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2. Empathy – A networking Skill

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s a key networking skill because it allows you to build a deeper connection with the people you meet. Here are some key points to keep in mind when practicing empathy in networking:

  • Try to understand the other person’s perspective. This means listening actively and asking questions to get a sense of their experiences, challenges, and goals.
  • Show that you care. This can be done through verbal or nonverbal cues such as nodding, maintaining eye contact, or expressing concern or understanding.
  • Respond with empathy. This means acknowledging the other person’s feelings and responding in a way that shows you understand and care.
  • Practice empathy in all your interactions, not just formal networking events.
  • Be sincere and avoid being overbearing or insincere.

3. Communication

Effective communication is essential for networking, as it allows you to connect with people, build relationships, and share information. Here are some key points to keep in mind when practicing effective communication in networking:

  • Express yourself clearly and concisely, and avoid jargon or complex words that might be hard to understand.
  • Practice active listening and ask open-ended questions to start a conversation.
  • Be aware of body language and nonverbal cues, this will help you understand the other person’s perspective.
  • Be mindful of your tone and language, and use a tone that is appropriate for the situation.
  • Show interest and ask questions about the other person, this will help you build a connection.
  • Follow up after the conversation, this shows that you value the connection and are interested in maintaining it.

Effective communication skills are essential for networking, as it allows you to connect with people, build relationships, and share information.

4. Follow-up – A networking Skill

Networking is not just about making connections, it’s also about maintaining them. Follow-up is crucial for keeping in touch with people you’ve met and building deeper relationships. Here are some tips on how to follow up for better networking:

Get Contact Information: Make sure to get the other person’s contact information right after you meet them. This can include their email address, phone number, or social media handles.

Follow Up Quickly: Follow up within a few days of meeting the person. This will help keep the connection fresh in their mind and show them that you value it.

Personalize Your Approach: Use a personalized approach when following up. This could be a personalized message or a reference to something you talked about during your initial meeting.

Offer Value: Offer value to the other person, this could be information, resources, or a referral. This will help to build a deeper relationship and show that you’re interested in helping them.

Be Consistent: Be consistent in your follow-up efforts. This will help to maintain the relationship over time and will show the other person that you’re dedicated to building a connection with them.

Be Responsive: Be open and responsive to the other person’s communication. This will show that you value the connection and are interested in maintaining it.

5. Online Networking

In 2023, online networking will be more important than ever. With the ongoing pandemic, many networking events are being held online, and remote work has become the norm. Online networking can be done through various platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and other professional networking sites. It’s important to keep your online presence professional and up-to-date and to engage in online conversations and groups related to your industry.

Create a Strong Online Profile: Make sure your online profiles on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are up-to-date and professional. This will help you create a strong first impression and make it easy for people to find and connect with you.

Engage in Online Conversations: Participate in online conversations and groups related to your industry. This will help you stay current on industry trends, build your professional network, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Be Active: Be active on your online profiles and platforms. This means regularly updating your profile and engaging with others in your network.

6. Networking with Purpose

Networking with purpose means that you are intentional about the connections you make and the relationships you build. Networking is not just about collecting as many contacts as possible – it’s about building strategic relationships that will benefit you and your career. Here are some tips on how to network with purpose in the business world:

Set Specific Goals: Before attending networking events or reaching out to potential contacts, set specific goals for what you want to achieve. This can include meeting new people in your industry, finding a mentor, or learning about potential job opportunities.

Research: Research the people and organizations you want to connect with before reaching out. This will help you understand their interests and goals, and make it easier to find common ground and build a relationship.

Be Selective: Be selective about the networking opportunities you attend and the people you reach out to. Focus on building relationships with people who can add value to your life or career.

Be Authentic: Be authentic when networking. Share your experiences and insights, and be open about your goals and interests. Authenticity helps to build trust and genuine connections.

Be Strategic: Be strategic in your follow-up efforts. Follow up with the people you meet and take the next steps to advance the relationship.

Networking with purpose means being intentional about the connections you make and building relationships that will benefit you and your career. By setting specific goals, researching potential contacts, being selective, being authentic, and being strategic in your follow-up efforts, you will be able to build valuable connections and advance your career.

7. Networking Confidence

Networking can be intimidating, especially when you’re meeting new people. However, networking confidence is essential for building relationships and making connections.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be the life of the party, but it does mean that you should be comfortable introducing yourself, starting a conversation, and sharing your experiences and goals.

If you’re feeling nervous, practice your networking skills in low-pressure situations, such as with friends and family.

8. Networking Authenticity

Networking authenticity is about being true to yourself and building genuine connections.

This means being honest about your experiences, goals, and strengths, and not pretending to be someone you’re not.

Authenticity helps you to build trust with the people you meet and makes it easier to find common ground and build lasting relationships.

When networking, be honest about your intentions and be open to learning about the other person’s experiences and goals.

9. Networking Flexibility

Networking flexibility is the ability to adapt to different situations and people. This means being comfortable networking in a variety of settings, such as in-person events, online platforms, or even over the phone.

It also means being able to adjust your communication style and approach depending on the person you’re speaking with.

Networking flexibility is important because it allows you to connect with a wide range of people and find new opportunities.

10. Networking Preparedness

Networking preparedness is about being ready to make the most of every networking opportunity.

This means doing research on the event or organization you will be attending, preparing a brief introduction or elevator pitch, and having business cards or other materials ready.

Preparedness also means being aware of current events and industry trends, so you can have meaningful conversations with the people you meet.

11. Networking Follow-Through

Networking follow-through is about taking action after a networking event or conversation. This means sending a follow-up email or connecting on LinkedIn, setting up a meeting or call, or taking the next steps to advance the relationship.

Follow-through is important because it helps to build momentum and turn a casual connection into a valuable relationship.

12. Networking Resilience

Networking resilience is the ability to bounce back from rejection or setbacks. This means not taking it personally when someone doesn’t respond to your follow-up or doesn’t seem interested in connecting.

Resilience is important because networking involves a lot of rejection, and it’s important to be able to handle it in a healthy way.

13. Networking Self-Promotion

Networking self-promotion is about sharing your experiences, skills, and accomplishments in a way that helps people understand how you can add value to their lives or organizations.

This means having a clear message or “elevator pitch” that communicates your value proposition.

Self-promotion is important because it helps people understand how they can benefit from knowing you, and it makes it easier for them to refer you to others.

14. Networking Time Management

Networking time management is about being efficient with your time when networking.

This means being strategic about which events or platforms you attend, and focusing on building relationships with people who can add value to your life or career.

Time management is important because networking can be time-consuming, and it’s important to make the most of every opportunity.

15. Networking Creativity

Networking creativity is about thinking outside the box and coming up with new and innovative ways to connect with people.

This can mean organizing a unique networking event, coming up with a creative follow-up strategy, or finding new ways to share your message and value proposition.

Creativity is important because it helps you stand out and makes it more likely that people will remember you.

16. Networking Strategic Thinking

Networking strategic thinking is about having a plan and being intentional about the connections you make.

This means identifying the people and organizations you want to connect with, researching them beforehand, and having a plan for how you will follow up.

Strategic thinking is important because it helps you focus on building relationships that will be mutually beneficial.

17. Networking Emotional Intelligence

Networking emotional intelligence is about being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others.

This means being able to read body language, understand nonverbal cues, and respond appropriately.

Emotional intelligence is important in networking because it allows you to build deeper connections with people and understand their perspectives. It also helps you to navigate difficult situations and communicate effectively.

18. Networking Self-awareness

Networking self-awareness is about understanding your own strengths, weaknesses, and values.

This means being aware of your own communication style, the way you come across to others, and what you want to achieve.

Self-awareness is important in networking because it allows you to be authentic and communicate your value effectively. It also helps you to identify opportunities that align with your goals.

19. Networking Adaptability

Networking adaptability is the ability to adjust to new situations and people. This means being open to new opportunities, being able to communicate with different types of people, and being able to change your approach as needed.

Adaptability is important in networking because it allows you to connect with a wide range of people and find new opportunities.

20. Networking Collaboration

Networking collaboration is about working with others to achieve a common goal. This means being willing to share resources and information, and being open to new ideas.

Collaboration is important in networking because it allows you to build stronger relationships and find new opportunities.

21. Networking Continuous Learning

Networking continuous learning is about being open to learning new things and expanding your knowledge. This means seeking out new opportunities, attending networking events, and taking courses or workshops. Continuous learning is important in networking because it allows you to stay current in your field and find new opportunities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, networking is an essential part of any professional career, and having a strong network can give you an edge in finding new opportunities and advancing in your career.

Building a strong network takes time, effort, and the development of key skills such as active listening, empathy, communication, follow-up, online networking, networking with a purpose, networking confidence, networking authenticity, networking flexibility, networking preparedness, networking follow-through, networking resilience, networking self-promotion, networking time management, networking creativity, networking strategic thinking, networking emotional intelligence, networking self-awareness, networking adaptability, networking collaboration and networking continuous learning.

By focusing on these skills and continuously improving them, you will be well on your way to building a strong network that will help you succeed in 2023.

About the author

Sameer Panda

Sameer Panda is the founder of Pakka Business. He shares valuable insights and tips on business networking and entrepreneurship that can help you on your own journey to success. You can also check out his other articles and social media accounts for more information and inspiration.