Veterans can be brilliant at networking because we’ve spent our careers moving around every couple of years and everyone around us is also moving around every couple of years.
We quickly build connections and get cracking.
Then on a leaving run after a few beers, it’s…
“Dave. I love you mate. Really do. Let’s keep in touch.”
The following Monday…
“Dave? Who the frick is Dave?”
That’s because… we’ve spent our careers moving around every couple of years and everyone around us is also moving around every couple of years!
And the cycle starts again, of making connections – Rapido! And leaves little room for the sentimentals.
That said, there are some parts of the Armed Forces where connections do run deep and persist. And to some extent, that again makes things difficult because we can be reluctant to let people into that inner circle so entrenched in trust and comradeship.
So, what to do?
Firstly, be aware that you can find, create and build new relationships really quickly outside of the military sphere. You have a story to tell and people will avidly listen.
And think of each new experience, networking meeting, course or insight day as your first day in a new unit.
Take an interest in what other people have going on.
And set your intentions:
• I am going to this meeting because __________ • This person will help me by __________ • I might be able to help with __________ • If this one is not for me, I’ll try another.
Because you can leave a meeting early – there’s no networking police!
And, “The fortune is in the follow-up.“. Check-in and reach out to the interesting folks you discover along the way and nurture those connections.
Network for knowledge.
And the best part is, you can start right now! It’s never too early to start networking.
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