Whether you are looking for your first job in the sector or are a seasoned consultant thinking about your next gig, networking is critical to advancing your global development career. Executive career coach Shana Montesol Johnson joins Devex to discuss the importance of networking beyond your job search and shares her tips for success.
“Networking comes up not only for emerging leaders, who are maybe looking for their first job or trying to transition into a new job,” says Montesol Johnson, “but also senior leaders inside of organizations, who aren’t even looking to change jobs, but just know that it’s important to have a strong network in order to get good work done.”
Many of us have negative connotations when it comes to networking — anxiety, fake, and superficial are words often used to describe the experience. It is important to be aware of these negative feelings, says Montesol Johnson, as our underlying thoughts can impact our results. For those who dread networking, Montesol Johnson shares ideas to help change your perception of networking and reframe your approach.
Conventional networking advice — often involving reception events, happy hours, and business cards — also tends to favor extrovert personalities and may not work for everyone. Montesol Johnson talks through some of the different ways to network that could play to your natural strengths and help you not only achieve better results but find the whole experience more enjoyable.