Meeting others and building your network in Denmark is not easy.
I’m an outgoing person and enjoy meeting new people, but I shrivel at the thought of going into a room to ‘network’ and small talk.
Giving a talk at a careers fair last week, a fellow speaker stated that 58 percent of all vacancies in Denmark are filled through networking. What chances do we therefore have when we are new in town with a limited network?
I have covered networking in presentations and coaching sessions for years. However, with this figure on the rise (53 percent in 2017), I feel we need to be better at it.
Any place, any time
Once we remove our pre-conception of what we believe networking is, we can start to move forward, because networking is absolutely anything that puts us in touch with others.
I once attended a brunch at Copenhagen Cooking and was delighted to realise that I was teamed up with two recruitment mangers for large international companies.
Denmark is also known as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, so my new connections couldn’t give me direct access to their candidate list or hire one of my clients.
However, what they could do was let me know about current vacancies, recruitment procedures and even staff turnover rates. I made new contacts, expanded my network and received information that helped me to advise clients who were prospective applicants.
The key to building your network is to do it in a way that interests you.
Stay away from networking events if they make you hot under the collar and instead focus on things you like. Sports, voluntary work and online communities are all good ways to connect and start expanding your network.
Having a shared interest makes it much easier to talk and, once someone opens up, you can connect and – congratulations – expand your network.
Networking 101: never ask for anything when trying to expand your network.
Instead offer genuine interest in the other person, ask questions and be attentive.
Once you stop trying to sell yourself and start listening and paying attention to others, you will crack the networking code.
So why not set yourself a small challenge? Try to connect with two new people every day this week. Attend an event, send a connect request via LinkedIn, or join a club or group and start building your network.