October 24, 2023
Networking in 4 Easy Steps
Networking events can often be nerve-wracking, especially for those just stepping into the professional world or exploring new career opportunities. Never fear! With the right approach, these gatherings can be a goldmine of opportunities. Here are some valuable tips to ace your networking game and make meaningful connections that can propel your career forward.
Strength in Numbers
Whether a coworker, a friend, or a neighbor who works in a professional field, bringing a familiar face along is a great strategy to help you feel more at ease walking into the room. Just be sure that your support person doesn't keep you from mingling with others (which is the whole reason you're there).
Split up, meet a couple of new people, check in with your buddy, repeat. Remember, the goal is to expand your network, so remain approachable and open to new connections.
Shake Hands with Everyone
A simple gesture like a handshake (or an elbow bump) can set the tone for a positive interaction. When attending an event solo, approach the registration table with confidence and don't hesitate to share that it's your first time. Organizers are usually helpful and can introduce you to others.
Throughout the event, be friendly and welcoming to everyone you encounter. If you have a specific networking goal, let others know! Mention your interests, and be open to the advice and recommendations of those you meet. Utilize the power of mutual connections by asking your new contacts to help you meet the right people.
Be Open to the Possibilities
Approaching these events with an open mind can yield unexpected opportunities. Take a deep breath, put on a friendly face, and engage with as many people as possible. Kick off the conversation with something unimportant - comment on how great the venue is, ask what time the event will wrap up, comment on the food, etc. Then introduce yourself with confidence and embrace the idea that each person you meet might have valuable insights or connections that could significantly benefit your career.
And never underestimate the power of a diverse network. Engage with individuals that you wouldn't normally spend time with - these conversations can offer fresh perspectives and insights that may prove invaluable in the future.
Don't forget to have your business cards (digital or printed) ready to share, along with an efficient way to keep up with others' contact info. After the event, follow up with a brief call or email. Even if you didn't get much from the initial conversation, it never hurts to meet up later, either at the next networking event or for a more in-depth opportunity to learn more about each other.
The more you practice your networking skills, the easier it will be! If you do it right, networking events can provide a platform for career growth and new professional relationships. Embrace the experience and remember, every handshake might just be the beginning of a promising career journey.
Ready to get started? Call your networking buddy now and plan to meet up at one of our upcoming events - details are below.