Some people are just good at networking and can make connections where ever they go. However, for some of us, we may not be so lucky. Most of us would rather be in a room filled with friends, rather than a room full of strangers passing out business cards. As much as I love seeing the cool designs on business cards, I have learned that not everyone approaches networking the same way. Some of us may strive in large networking events, while others may prefer making connections online. However, for the average person who already has a job, or who may not be looking for new clients – how can they build a network?
Networking isn’t always just transactional, it is about exchanging information, sharing personal experiences, and even offering advice. Whether you are looking for advice, or want a real opinion on a company, your goal should be to develop professional connections and relationships outside of your work space. There are many ways to do this, so I decided to share a few ideas below:
- Join a professional network and attend their next event
- Join a meetup that aligns with what you love to do
- Attend a women’s empowerment event
- Attend a professional development course
- Find an event hosted by a local business
- Reach out to people on LinkedIn or Social Media
- Discover more about an industry or company that you are interested with an informational interview
The best way to network is by practicing and attending a variety of events to see which type of environment you thrive in. While attending a networking event, think of some interesting questions to ask, and as always remember to be your authentic self.
Do you prefer large networking events, or smaller ones? If you have any other suggestions please share your ideas with a comment!