Networking, some people love it, other people?
Not so much.
We get it!
Even the most extroverted person can be intimidated by networking. Starting conversations with people you don’t know can be intimidating. Why would anyone want to walk into a room where you know no one, and at the same time should be talking to everyone?
Here is the why friends: Networking is key to professional development. In today’s job market it is a way to increase sales, land the dream job, and meet your next best employee.
Below are some pro tips from our very own expert Net-worker, Rebeca Martinez (AKA: Boss Lady).
- Do your homework! Make sure you know what you are walking into. Before attending the event you should know the answer to two questions. (1) What is the purpose of the event. (2) Who is expected to be there. This is important as it will set the stage for the connections you are making. Often times you can even request a list from the organizer to find out what companies and individuals that may be attending the event.
- When starting conversations do your best to discuss things that are NOT business related, this will make you memorable! Be genuine, some of the best connections come from real talk.
- Don’t make people feel like you’re speed dating them. Build lasting connections by listening and being fully engaged.
- Find a way to steady the nerves! For some a glass of wine might do the trick. For the non drinkers, don’t forget to breathe, and give yourself a good pep talk before hand.
- Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you don’t, get one! It is the best way to keep up with the professional relationships you develop at networking events. LinkedIn even offers a search nearby feature which will allow you to see the names and occupations of other account holders in your proximity! It’s a gold mine when it comes to maintaining connections!
We hope you find these tips helpful and remember, when in doubt: Network – Rest – Repeat !