The key to successful networking, is networking for no reason.
Pshhhh I have no idea what the key to successful networking is for real, but I can tell you if you wait to network til you need something then we are starting off behind the curve.
When you wait until you need something to start networking people feel like you are using them. We expect networking to have a component of “give back” to it. When you show up, people are looking to see if you want to be a part of the bigger picture, not if you just need to get your next job or next sale and move on.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network if you’re to the point of needing something right now and you haven’t started, just go about it carefully. Find a way to volunteer with the group you’re trying to network into. Volunteering next to members shows that you have an interest in the organization or group and will help facilitate no pressure conversations. This will lead to people getting to know you and seeing your work ethic for themselves. As long as that goes well, they will start referring you when they hear that someone will be opening a job soon.
It sounds simple because it is simple. Don’t over think the process. Know that most people are nervous at first and most people don’t enjoy networking. Find a way to contribute to other people and volunteer organizations in 2019, you never know when you’ll need them.