Whether you’re looking for new business, friendship, or your next big gig, networking should be a part of your social routine.
Sure, it can be intimidating. Some fear that networking will make them seem like a ruthless self-promoter. Let go of that anxiety. That won’t be the case unless you talk about yourself incessantly (please don’t do that!).
At some point in your networking journey, you will find yourself in a room full of complete strangers. Try to remember that they’re in attendance for the same reason you are: to meet new people.
Here are five things to know about networking:
1. Networking can help you establish long-lasting professional and personal relationships. Forging professional connections is a wonderful thing, but I’ve also met some of my closest friends at networking events. Years later, we’re venting and sharing ideas with one another.
2. Give to your network. Nobody likes a contact hoarder. Be generous with your advice and connections. Members of your network will reciprocate.
3. Don’t network without an agenda. Before you register or buy a ticket to an event, see who’s going. Make a point to seek out three to five people you’d like to specifically connect with. Do your research. Chat with other attendees along the way.
4. Networking is not just for job-seekers. Socializing makes you and your organization stand out. Use social opportunities to talk up your company and recruit new hires. Industry events can even be a great way to connect with your colleagues.
5. Remember to follow up. Don’t let business cards just sit in your wallet. Send a short note the next day, letting new connections know how nice it was to meet them.
Building a network takes time. Be patient. Challenge yourself to go to two events each month, and watch how quickly your network expands.
Try your hand at networking during one of these events in Philadelphia (and don’t forget to look for us at the upcoming Forge Conference):
GDI Rise & Shine at La Colombe
Thursday, September 3, 2015
7:00 AM to 8:45 AM
Network After Work at Coda
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Major League Sports & Tech at The Hub
Monday, September 21, 2015