#MAkeAnImpact by Being Yourself
One of the most important aspects of building your career is networking. As a college student, be prepared to network because you never know who you’re talking to and the connections they might have. That being said, it can be very easy to forget one if the simplest yet most important tips when it comes to networking and meeting new people in general:
Just be yourself!
This may seem obvious, but as a young college student talking to professionals, it is common to feel intimidated and want to change your personality to try and fit in better. Many people try to act differently and come off as what they think the other person would like them to be. You may think that they will be impressed if you pretend to have more similar interests or be more experienced than you really are, but in reality, most people can see right through that. If you just be yourself and let your real personality shine through (while staying professional of course), you will make more long lasting connections that can lead to something more! The people you network with will likely remember and want to get to know a genuine, interesting person rather than a robot who is just there to get something out of them. Networking is about making friendships and connections, after all. When you treat it as a transactional relationship, people are not going to want to help you in your career. If you really want to stand out from the crowd of the many others who make this mistake, you should be authentic in all of your relationships and interactions, professional or not. In addition, you also want to make sure that YOU genuinely like the person you are networking with if you plan on working together or asking them for help in the future. When you go on autopilot trying to network with people just to see how you can benefit from them, you might find yourself in a situation where you are unhappy because you are surrounded by people who you don’t have a real connection with.
Being your real, genuine self will get you a lot more out of networking than just business transactions. Networking can be used to build long lasting relationships that will also impact your career, so make sure you are truly connecting with those that you network with!
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