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Change Anti-Networking Feelings, Says Harvard

Professional networks lead to better jobs and increased job satisfaction. In fact, those who do not network never progress to the degree that networkers do, according to new research from the Harvard Business Review. These four strategies can help you learn to improve your networking skills.


  1. Shift the negative mindset. Instead of looking at networking as a necessary evil in which you’ll have to pretend to be interested and interesting, switch your approach. Tell yourself you might just learn something useful.
  2. Find commonalities. Good networking is not about casual relationships, experts say. The best networking occurs when people enjoy or have interest in the same activities. By engaging in those activities, you’ll develop long-lasting ties as well as professional relationships. 
  3. Identify your unique resources. Often people who feel powerless, especially young workers, find it difficult to enter into networking relationships because they don’t feel as if they have much to contribute. However, newer workers have insights into generational trends and markets that may be valuable to senior employees.
  4. Focus on the collective benefit. Instead of looking at networking as a task done to promote yourself, think about it as something you’re doing to support your firm or to help your clients. By linking the task to a less selfish purpose, networking can feel like a positive experience.