Here are five tips to successful networking.

5 networking tips for professional growth

According to CNN, more than 80 percent of jobs aren't advertised anywhere you would normally find them. But people are getting hired for new positions every day. So where are these jobs coming from and who gets them?

People are taking professional development into their own hands by networking whenever the opportunity presents itself. Here are five tips to help you network more effectively: 

1. Reach out in places you wouldn't normally think of

Networking doesn't have to be reserved for professional events only. In fact, some of the best networking is done in the least likely places. If you're out at a bar, don't be afraid to talk about work. Often times, getting to know someone in a more relaxed setting can go a long way in networking.

2. Always hand out your business card

Do yourself a favour and carry your business cards wherever you go. You never know when you may meet the individual who will set your career on a new trajectory. You have plenty of copies of your business cards, but they don't do you any good if they stay in your pockets. Instead, hand them out at every chance you get.

Don't be afraid to hand out a copy of your business card.Don't be afraid to hand out a copy of your business card.

3. Be confident in your skill set

Nobody wants to hire someone who isn't confident in him or herself. When you meet someone you want to network with, make sure you exude confidence. Don't be overconfident, but have the composure to present yourself in the right light. Always shake people's hands with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, at the very least.

4. Find common ground

A lot of networking can be achieved by simply finding a little bit of common ground. In this regard, it's probably best to aim for something outside the realm of business. It's obvious that you'll have something in common because you're in the same line of work. But people who may be your future co-workers want to see that they can connect with you outside of the office. Don't be afraid to forge a connexion over a ball game or hobby.

5. Don't forget to follow up

When you meet someone and exchange contact information, don't forget to follow up! You've already done the trickiest part by having the courage to put yourself out there. Now, finish the job by reaching out with a phone call or email.