The Art of Networking Recap

Facilitator: Samrawit Meressa, AWiB 2023 President | Production Managing Director on DSTV & Assistant Manager at Zoskales Diamond

The session began with introductions and what networking is. Samrawit stated that networking is a powerful tool for sharing information and ideas, opening up unexpected paths of opportunity. Networking serves as a gateway to unforeseen opportunities, enabling individuals to explore paths they hadn’t initially considered. This dynamic process can significantly influence one’s professional trajectory.

Networking often comes with its own set of challenges, including fear and personal reservations. It’s crucial to recognize that reluctance towards networking may stem from deeper, often unexplored, reasons. Addressing these concerns is essential for productive networking.  A vital perspective in networking is the understanding that there’s nothing to lose. A successful networking interaction is a valuable gain, while any missteps or less-than-ideal encounters have a limited impact on one’s overall life and career. Samrawit added that, initially, networking can be intimidating, but with each interaction, individuals become more at ease. Practice plays a crucial role in building confidence and making networking a more comfortable and rewarding endeavor.

Major Takeaways:

  • Networking is a means of sharing information and ideas that can open doors to unforeseen paths and possibilities in your personal and professional life.
  • Addressing Networking Challenges: Overcoming obstacles like fear or personal discomfort in networking requires introspection to understand the root causes behind these feelings.
  • Embracing a “Nothing to Lose” Mindset: Approaching networking with the mindset that there’s nothing to lose can alleviate anxiety. Success can be enriching, while failures are often forgiven and provide valuable learning experiences.
  • Effective Networking Strategies: To navigate networking events successfully, it’s advisable to research the crowd when possible, initiate conversations with introductions, and maintain an open attitude toward mingling with diverse individuals. With practice, the initial fear associated with networking dissipates, making it a more comfortable experience over time.

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