Networking Basics

Story Point

Networking Basics

Angela Huser - Product Manager - Grit International

I can’t remember how many articles I read on how to network. Mostly articles with 5-to-10 bullets of advice. Intellectually I grasped all those tips, but only when I moved from reading to practicing I really understood the value of it. In 2015 I jumped countries – moving from Switzerland to Denmark. Before I moved to Copenhagen, I had neither job, nor apartment, nor fiancé or friends. Today, I am enjoying after work drinks with friends, free espressos at my favorite Pizzeria, I have contacts to many international companies and start-ups in the Copenhagen area. In fact, after a year I can say: I have never been so connected in a place.

I would like to share these learnings from my experience:

  • Be personal: Networking is about building a personal connection with another individual. Even if you hope to get a job through that person, a sincere interest in the personality is the best way to establish a relationship. No matter whether I find myself in a business or private context, I often find it as simple as smiling and introducing myself.

  • Be curious and open: It’s good if you have an idea of what you’d like to get out of a conversation, but stay open-minded. More than once I approached people with a particular goal in mind but ended up with new ideas and helpful inputs in a direction completely off my radar.

  • Be clear in your intentions: If you approach someone outside your personal network, it’s apparent that you want something from them. Being honest about your intentions and situations helps both of you. 

  • Ask for advice: Being asked for tips is a compliment. Most people like to be perceived as experts and are willing to share. 

  • Show gratitude: People are busy, appreciate their time. Often, when I expressed my gratitude for people’s willingness to share their knowledge with me, it not only made them feel good, they also often offered further help.