How to Network as a Pasifika Person
If you are a Pasifika person who wants to network but doesn't enjoy it, this guide is for you.
by Joey Nanai I 10 March 2023
Learn some practical tips and tricks on how to make networking less daunting and more enjoyable.
Networking is an essential part of professional growth and career development. It is an opportunity to meet new people, learn about different industries, and establish valuable connections. However, for some Pasifika people, networking can be an intimidating and uncomfortable experience. If you are someone who struggles with networking, don't worry; you are not alone. This guide will provide you with some practical tips on how to network as a Pasifika person, even if you don't like it.
Overcoming the Fear of Networking
Acknowledge Your Feelings
It's okay to feel nervous or anxious about networking, especially if it's not something you're used to doing. Instead of ignoring or suppressing these feelings, acknowledge them. Recognize that it's normal to feel this way and that many people experience the same emotions when it comes to networking.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don't expect to walk into a networking event and come out with a job offer or a business partnership. Networking is a process that takes time, effort, and patience. Set realistic expectations for yourself and focus on building relationships rather than immediate results.
Prepare Ahead of Time
One way to alleviate anxiety around networking is to prepare ahead of time. Research the event or the people you'll be meeting, and come up with some talking points or questions to ask. Practice introducing yourself and your skills in a clear and concise manner.
Finding Networking Opportunities
Attend Industry Events
Industry events and conferences are great places to network and meet people in your field. Look for events that align with your interests and expertise, and attend them with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
Join Professional Organizations
Joining a professional organization can provide you with opportunities to connect with other professionals in your industry. Attend meetings, workshops, and events hosted by the organization, and take advantage of any mentoring or leadership development programs offered.
Leverage Social Media
Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can also be useful for networking. Connect with other professionals in your field, share industry news and insights, and engage in online discussions.
Networking Tips for Pasifika People
Don't try to be someone you're not when networking. Be true to yourself and your cultural identity, and use networking opportunities as a chance to share your unique perspective and experiences.
Use Your Network
Networking doesn't always have to happen at formal events or conferences. Leverage your existing network of family, friends, and colleagues to make new connections and expand your reach.
Find Common Ground
Look for common ground with the people you're networking with. Whether it's a shared interest or a common career goal, finding common ground can help break the ice and establish a connection.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I'm not good at small talk?
Small talk is a common part of networking, but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Remember that most people are there to meet new people and establish connections, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Try to come up with some open-ended questions that can lead to a more meaningful conversation.
What if I don't have a lot of experience or credentials?
Don't let your lack of experience or credentials hold you back from networking. Everyone has to start somewhere, and networking can be a valuable opportunity to learn and gain new skills.
What if I feel like I don't belong?
Feeling like you don't belong is a common fear when it comes to networking, especially for Pasifika people who may not see a lot of representation in certain industries. Remember that you have valuable skills and experiences to offer, and don't be afraid to share them. It may also be helpful to find networking opportunities that are specifically geared towards Pasifika professionals.
Networking can be a daunting task, especially for Pasifika people who may feel like they don't belong or don't enjoy small talk. However, it's an essential part of professional growth and career development. By acknowledging your feelings, setting realistic expectations, and preparing ahead of time, you can make networking less intimidating and more enjoyable. Remember to be authentic, use your existing network, and find common ground with the people you're networking with. Don't let fear hold you back from the opportunities that networking can provide. With practice and perseverance, you can become a confident and successful networker as a Pasifika person.
Let's say that you are a Pasifika person who wants to explore career opportunities in a new industry but feel nervous about networking. You might acknowledge your feelings of anxiety and set realistic expectations for yourself. Instead of expecting to come away with a job offer, you focus on making connections and learning more about the industry. You prepare ahead of time by researching the industry and the people you'll be meeting, and come up with some talking points and questions to ask.
To find networking opportunities, you attend industry events and conferences, where you meet other professionals and share your unique perspective and experiences. You also join a professional organization in the industry, attend meetings and workshops, and take advantage of any mentoring or leadership development programs offered. Additionally, you leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in the field, share industry news and insights, and engage in online discussions.
As a Pasifika person, you stay true to your cultural identity and use networking opportunities as a chance to share your unique perspective and experiences. You also use your existing network of family, friends, and colleagues to make new connections and expand your reach. Finally, you find common ground with the people you're networking with by looking for shared interests or goals.
By following these tips and persevering, you become a confident and successful networker as a Pasifika person. You no longer let fear hold you back from the opportunities that networking can provide, and you continue to grow and develop in your career.