The Secret To Networking

How to build connections and expand your opportunities within the tech space.


12/4/20233 min read

the secret to networking
the secret to networking

As a Pharmacist, networking wasn't something that was emphasized in my profession. To be honest, it wasn't something that interested me either😅 . However, little did I know that working as a locum pharmacist was a form of networking in itself.

Week after week, I would meet new pharmacists and dispensers, forming connections that would often work in my favour. These connections would recommend me to managers, leading to extra shifts and more opportunities 🌟. It was a casual and organic form of networking, without any formal events or structured gatherings.

However, everything changed when I transitioned into the tech space. Suddenly, networking became a buzzword, and there seemed to be an abundance of tech events to attend. Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to explore this new world of networking 🔦.

So, what's the deal with networking? Let's start with what it isn't. It's not about tallying up the number of people you can chat with at an event only to never speak to them again. True networking is about finding individuals who share your passions and values, forming connections that are mutually beneficial. It's about creating a support system, exchanging knowledge and resources, and opening doors to new opportunities.

One of the key benefits of networking is the ability to tap into the hidden job market. Many job opportunities are never advertised publicly, instead, they are filled through personal connections and recommendations.

I've learnt a few things from my new networking experiences and thought I'd share them with you all.

  1. Have a ‘sales pitch ready’: This summarises what you have done, what you are doing now and what you aim to do. Sell yourself. As a newbie, my pitch would end with ‘but I’m very new to this industry’. Someone highlighted that by doing this, I shut the door on myself before someone has even had the chance to. So I switched it to: "The tech world is new and exciting and I’m actively learning to be a strong programmer and someone who can make an impact within the industry".

  2. Solo attendance for the shy: If you are shy - go alone. No honestly. It will push you out of your comfort zone and make you talk to more people. At my first networking event, I was so scared of going solo but I am glad I did as I met some amazing people.

  3. Presentation matters: While it might come off as superficial, looking good can contribute to feeling good, ultimately boosting confidence in a networking setting. Dress well, do yourself up and wear a nice perfume that tells people 'I am here!'.

  4. Be charismatic: For ambiverts like me, being in a room full of people can go one way or the other. Somedays I will present myself as the bubbliest person in the room, other times I am tempted to become a shell of a human. What has helped me is to develop a gear-up routine. This could involve listening to upbeat music or envisioning yourself bouncing through the room like the happiest person on earth.

  5. Master charisma nuances: Maintain a steady tone, use hand gestures thoughtfully, and project warmth. Avoid a negative inflexion when you speak as this can make you come across as less confident. A firm but not overpowering handshake, along with good eye contact, contributes to a charismatic presence. For a deeper dive, the Mel Robbins Podcast's episode: The “it” factor: How to Hack Charism & use your body language to boost your influence, income and impact’ is highly recommended.

  6. Express genuine interest: Effective networking is a two-way street. Showing authentic interest in others through thoughtful questions can significantly enhance connections.

  7. Follow up, don't ghost: Gathering contacts is only beneficial if you follow up. Try a simple message like, "I came across an article about XYZ, and it reminded me of our conversation at the ABC event. Just reaching out to see how you're doing."

Ultimately, networking is important, but networking correctly and maintaining these connections is even more important.

Happy networking!