Getting ahead in the world of business can be achieved in a multitude of ways – some more legit than others. Climbing the corporate ladder, in many cases, comes down more to who you know, rather than what you know. Some see this as being unfair and preferential, while many actively go out of their way to put themselves in a position to connect with influential personalities in the industry.
To put yourself in such positions, networking conferences are essential as, it is true, that meeting the right person can open up doors. There is nothing wrong with recognizing that, during your career, you will require a favor now and then to further yourself personally and professionally.
How Do You Make Connections?
Building a career is much like building a house, meaning you must start with its foundations. The beginning of a successful career is a good education, as this will set you up not only with the basic skills that you need to take into the workplace but provide you with the social skills that will serve you better than any other ability you can hope to develop.
This is much of the reason why heading to university is considered highly advantageous, as most of the time spent at university is outside of the normal classroom setting. For example, if you look at the average Oxbridge student, who must have displayed the willingness and dedication to push themselves just to be accepted, they continue to work harder than anyone else all while meeting new and interesting people.
Thanks to their dedication to meeting new people, many of those connections will stay with them for years to come, allowing them to collaborate with fellow students who specialize in other areas. This happens in the business world all the time, so refining these skills at an early age will help you get ahead of the game by the time you leave university and head out into the real world.
That isn’t to say that no great businessman or woman cannot come from outside of the Oxbridge universities, but looking into how to get into Cambridge University or Oxford University would not be a bad place to start for students looking to make waves in the world of business.
Do Others Want to Connect with Me?
One of the biggest concerns that people have when they first attend a networking event is whether anyone there would be interested in speaking to them. After all, what makes you so interesting? Rather than thinking about icebreakers and your areas of interest, focus more on what you can offer a potential partner.
Businesspeople attend these events looking for value; they aren’t looking to make new friends they can go out with on a Friday or Saturday night. Keep things strictly professional and outline what you do and what you can offer, particularly when discussing each other’s projects. If you happen to find yourself sharing a drink with a speaker, make sure to display that you have been listening and bring the conversation to the value you can offer. After all, you have probably just listened to them for a good half-an-hour to an hour, so they have likely had enough of talking about themselves.
Fortune favors the brave. If you are entering the entrepreneurial world, you are likely to be undeterred about going against the grain – at least that is the attitude you should have. With your business ideas, don’t be afraid to fail because, either way, you come out of it with a positive result.
Look at things this way. If your idea takes off, you have a commercially viable strand to the business that you can continue to grow. If it doesn’t, then create a case study to help you understand why things didn’t go to plan, what parts worked well, and the parts that didn’t. It is worth dedicating the time to this because, if done well, your case study will be valuable to others looking for help and advice with their own big idea. This could be the ultimate icebreaker to building a mutually beneficial partnership.
Collaboration is the key to getting ahead in the world of business. While money certainly helps, without a good idea or the means to put it into action, money and ideas will only be going down the drain.