NXT Talk: Networking 101 – Using relationship building for career advancement – Techpoint Africa | Region & Cash

Building, maintaining and utilizing networks/relationships are important ways to grow one’s career, company and profile. This was revealed during the second edition of NXT Talk, a monthly Twitter Spaces session hosted by SpaceNXT.

SpaceNXT is Union Bank’s purpose-built co-creation hub, aiming to foster open innovation and collaboration within the technology and innovation ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and visionaries. It also serves as a great platform for building and establishing networks, mainly in the technical field.

The Twitter Spaces session entitled “Networking 101: Using relationship building for career advancement.” featured Babatunde Akin-Moses, Founder/CEO, fintech peer-to-peer lending platform Sycamore, as this month’s guest. During his insightful chat with Efunbolanle Hughes, Digital and Innovation Analyst, Union Bank, he highlighted how his relationships have helped advance his career, starting with how he landed his first referral-based position at KPMG and how he has built a strong company by leveraging the network of people he has along the way. Babatunde went on to emphasize how organic networking has helped him secure various opportunities, from job offers to business opportunities. He noted that utilizing such opportunities not only helped him in his career growth but also provided valuable guidance and knowledge that helped him build Sycamore, a peer-to-peer digital lending platform.

In addition to using existing physical relationships, he also touched on how you can also build a solid external network, e.g. B. by deliberately trying to meet speakers at conferences, or casual interactions with prominent business figures. He stressed the importance of being authentic, confident and bold and not overwhelming them with irrelevant conversations but instead focusing on what you are doing, your skills and business interests which could present a perfect opportunity to take advantage of. It is also advisable to keep conversations politically neutral so as not to deter prospective business partners who may find the views you express offensive.

Babatunde also spoke about times when trying to network with people didn’t quite go to plan. He said he’s had more failures than successes, but the harder you try, the more success you’ll most likely find in building a few networks over time. According to him, more informal interactions like meeting and meeting people in random places in supermarkets lead to more successful engagements than formal conferences or speaking engagements.

Another good area to expand your network base is building your online presence on social media platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, etc. In another comment, he spoke about how he increases the number of people he interacts with through constant engagement by creating content that generates conversation and comment or engage in other interesting discussions on the online platforms. These followers or connections then become something of a treasure trove for you to enter into potential business partnerships, market products/services and gain knowledge that would advance and advance your career. Babatunde also stressed the importance of confidence and courage when engaging online. Not afraid to voice your opinions on subjects that you have a reasonable level of expertise in, in particular, and be willing to have them questioned and challenged. However, he cautioned against avoiding controversial issues or, at best, knowing how to deal with them.

During the discussion, Ifunaya Lilian, a listener, wanted to know how she can continue to connect with some people in her network whose interests and skills are something she may not have knowledge of.

In response to the question, Babatunde suggested continuing to engage and be patient until an opportunity presents itself in the future.

Finally, Babatunde reiterated the 3 things he believes are necessary to build a network, namely boldness, authenticity and preparation.

click here to listen to the whole session.

Follow SpaceNXT on @spacenxt_ng on Twitter and Instagram for more episodes of NXT Talk.

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