TMCnet Feature
November 20, 2019

Atkinson Prakash Charan Provides Tips for Effective Networking

is a fundamental component to career advancement and taking the time to establish professional connections can provide you with a competitive edge. Research suggests that approximately 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking connections. Furthermore, many jobs are filled before they are even listed online through network connections.

To shed some light on the matter, we teamed up with entrepreneur and philanthropist, Atkinson Prakash Charan. Atkinson Prakash Charan is one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs. As a successful businessman, Atkinson Prakash Charan knows how uncomfortable it can be to step into a room and introduce yourself to a stranger, so he provides his best practices to help you do just that.

Atkinson Prakash Charan suggests starting with who you know. Whether it feels like it or not, you have been networking your whole life. From the people you went to school with, worked your first job with, and met through mutual friends, these are connections you can leverage when you start your networking journey.

If you are looking to network with individuals in a specific industry, try reaching out to people you know who have worked in that field. Often, they will either point you in the right direction or set you up with someone who can. Atkinson Prakash Charan explains that you should not be afraid to do this, as most people appreciate being approached for career advice and direction.

Utilise Social Media

For those of us who are afraid of in-person networking, getting started on social media is a great way to get yourself comfortable with the idea. From LinkedIn (News - Alert) to Instagram and Twitter, there are several platforms that can familiarise other people with who you are and what you do. Atkinson Prakash Charan also explains that these platforms can serve as an educational opportunity, providing you with insight into who the key players in your industry are; both at an individual and corporate level. It also allows you to showcase your industry knowledge on these platforms, sharing relevant advice, articles and resources to your network.

Attend Industry Specific Events

Sometimes making connections is as easy as a friend making an introduction. However, sometimes you need to put your best foot forward and make the connections on your own. One way to put yourself out there is to consider what industry events you might be able to attend. Atkinson Prakash Charan explains that if you are in the arts, consider attending auctions or gallery openings to make yourself known. If you are interested in a publishing career, seek out book conventions, signings, and launches. Even if you do not yet have the courage to speak to strangers, it allows your face to become familiar to others in your industry. Additionally, many industries have organizations for their members which host networking events. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for any opportunity to network with other individuals in the industry. You never know when one of them might have a job opportunity available that you would be the perfect fit for.

Ask Important Questions

When you are ready to be introduced to someone, or can approach someone unprompted, remember one key thing: it does not need to be about you. Atkinson Prakash Charan explains that some of us get nervous when we feel we must sell ourselves and our interests to other, but you want to primarily focus on the other person. Ask questions about the event you are attending, how they got involved in this industry, and how they feel about key industry changes. This is a great way to open a conversation with a key networking opportunity. But do not be afraid to walk away from a prospect that you do not feel will have a benefit to you. Kindly thank them for their time, tell them to enjoy their evening, and politely walk away to your next prospect.

Actively Listen

When you are meeting with someone for the first time, it is important to be actively engaged in the conversation. More than just talking, Atkinson Prakash Charan explains that being engaged also involves actively listening to whomever is talking. By listening and then showing you understand through your response or questions, the people you are networking with are more likely to remember you in a good light.

Be Positive

When you are meeting someone for the first time, always try to keep a positive mindset throughout the interaction. This can be anything from being polite and kind to the person you are connecting with to avoiding saying negative things about your job or other people. You never know when the person you are connecting with might also know your boss. In addition, being positive makes it more likely that you will leave a good impression on anyone you network with and you will be remembered in a good light if they are asked to recommend someone for a job.

Offer Value

One of the best methods to be able to network effectively is to understand how you can add value to other people’s lives. Atkinson Prakash Charan explains that this value can come in a variety of forms such as your industry knowledge, skills, or your personal connections that might include someone they want to connect with. When you offer value while networking, you help to create mutually beneficial connections with others who are more likely to help you in the future. Ultimately, people want their time and effort to be worthwhile and if you offer value to them, they are more likely to reciprocate.

Atkinson Prakash Charan concludes that networking is not an easy thing to start with and it will inevitably take time and effort to build up a large, helpful network of colleagues and industry members. Regular work is required to build and then maintain a network of industry connections. However, if you do not take the first step you are limiting yourself both in terms of potential career development as well as job opportunities.

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