Who you meet today may just help boost your career tomorrow. So as you expand your address book, file these networking tips in:
DON'T BE SHY, BE CURIOUS. Beat shyness by being genuinely interested in someone. The conversation will flow better and naturally. Do ask others open ended questions which encourage conversation - most people love talking about themselves.
BE SINCERE. Networking isn't for short-term gain so ditch the impatient "what's in it for me" attitude. No one likes insincerity, plus it's easy to spot.
CASUAL CONTACT. Approach others casually with light topics before touching on more serious business-like topics. Never hit a social scene with your entire sales kit hoping to kill two birds with one stones.
KEEP IN TOUCH. Show appreciation with newfound and existing contacts by sending cheery greeting and messages during festivals and holidays. A simple thank you e-mail works well to keep in touch if your contacts have helped you in any small way.
GET OUT OF FAMILIAR CLIQUES. It's much easier to stick with people who you already know. However, make the best of social or work events to expand your horizons. After all, your friends were once people you didn't know too. Say a quick hello to them and then go forth to make a new contacts.