Whether you are seeking a transition into your ideal civilian role, or are already in a job trying to expand your business, face-to-face networking can be your secret weapon – but you need to do it effectively.
It may be tempting to think that you can just turn up to a networking event, chat to some people, and all will be fine. After all, in the services, you are probably used to being assigned to a new base and having to establish the necessary relationships quickly. That experience will certainly help you but there is also an adjustment to make – in civilian life there is no rigid hierarchy and no uniforms to guide you. You may not know who you’re talking to or how they can help you.
Do you know the best way to approach and prepare for your networking? Or how to maintain your confidence and avoid trepidation? Do you know how to choose who to speak to and how to approach that conversation?
Do you understand why the most effective networkers act counter intuitively – by listening rather than talking – by being “interested” rather than “interesting” – by seeking ways to help the other person rather than just thinking of yourself?
Importantly, do you know how to gain lasting benefit from your conversations by following up effectively?
If you are unsure of the answer to some of these questions – and most people are – you should attend the up-coming OA events.