Learning how to network effectively can open up opportunities for you and make it easier to find job openings and build relationships with potential mentors. It can also provide contacts, resources, and opportunities to help you advance your career. This article will discuss some strategies that can help an ADHD’er network effectively for success.
Have a plan before starting to network
Before you start the networking process, it can be helpful to have a plan to guide your intention. A basic plan takes the form of;
- why are you networking
- what type of people do you want to meet
- where do you plan on meeting them
- how are you going to interact with them
- how often do you plan on reaching out
Write down a few reasons you are networking. For example, “I want to make connections with people in my industry to learn more about potential job opportunities” or “I want to meet potential mentors who can give me advice and feedback”.
That way, you have a clear and specific goal when talking to potential contacts. The next step is to decide who you want to network with. Look for people in your industry who have a job title or role that interests you or someone who can connect you to the right people. It is also helpful to find out what networking events they will attend and ensure you go there.
Once you have identified the right people to network with and decided where to meet them, you must plan how you will interact with them. Make sure you do your research and find out what their background and interests are so that you can start a conversation. Be prepared with interesting questions and have a few talking points that can help you to engage in a meaningful conversation.
Prevent any potential distractions or procrastination
You will network with various people, and staying focused on the task is essential. Distractions such as checking your phone, engaging in small talk or getting lost in your thoughts can quickly derail you and prevent you from making meaningful connections. If you are prone to procrastination or have difficulty with time management, it can help to have a goal tracker application to track your progress and set deadlines for yourself.
Follow up with contacts
Once you have made contact with potential connections, it is essential to follow up and build on that relationship. Reach out to them via email or phone to keep the conversation going. This will demonstrate your commitment and dedication to making meaningful connections. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or feedback, as this can help you further your career as you increase your ADHD network. Make sure to thank people for their time and follow up with any questions they may have asked you.
Overcome social anxiety
Overcome anxiety by practising positive self-talk. Remind yourself that everyone else in the room is in the same situation, and no one expects perfection. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake or stumble over your words; people will still be interested in talking with you and developing a relationship.
Networking is challenging, but it is well worth the effort as it can open up unique opportunities and give you access to valuable resources and contacts. With the right strategy and commitment, you can make meaningful connections that could help further your career.