Networking is essential to climbing the professional social ladder. I wrote a small piece touching upon why networking is vital to your career, definitely check it out if you haven’t already. While networking is one of the most effective ways to learn more about your field and to gain access to more opportunities, it’s not really the easiest thing to do. Honestly, sometimes it can just be downright intimidating.
Considering I’m just 21 years old, I can openly admit that I am no expert on the matter. Honestly 2 out of 3 times I’m at an event, I’m hiding in the corner trying to figure out if there’s something in my teeth. But I have been investing a lot of time in building my career and by doing so I’ve been putting myself out there and attending networking events. So here are some tips I’ve picked up!
- Where do you network?
Networking can actually happen anywhere if you’re a people person! Some are just really friendly and are able to connect quickly with anyone, anywhere. I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily one of those people though, so I took to the internet and found some great networking groups and communities that plan events purely for meeting new people and building professional relationships. The important thing to remember when researching for these groups is that you’re looking to meet people who can help you excel in your career. Let’s say you sell decorative cakes, there wouldn’t be a reason for you to go to a networking meeting that is curated for painters. You would instead find an event that’s planned specifically for guests who work in the food commodity industry or party planning.
- How do you network?
When I first began getting out there I found the actual act of “networking” challenging for many reasons. I had the most trouble with topics of conversation. Here’s the thing, you can totally hit it off with someone and have great conversation about where you went to summer camp or what kind of makeup you like. But at the end of the day they don’t know what you can do for them professionally OR what they can do for you. You need to be able to thoroughly introduce yourself in a few short and simple sentences. Who you are, what you do, what kind of experiences that you can offer or experiences that you’re looking to gain. Once you know that they have a good idea of the angle your business is getting at, then you guys can get to the BFF stuff.
- When are you “done” networking?
NEVER!! Networking is VITAL to building a business/career, no matter how successful you are. The only way to continue growing is to continue building relationships and opening yourself up to new opportunities. Although the projects you are looking to get involved in and the relationships you are looking to create may evolve into something else, the need to network will never go anywhere. This is why you should start ASAP and figure out what situations you’re comfortable in, which networking groups work best for your industry, ect.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit Her Millennial Mindset. Do you like what you see? Do you have some great networking tips? Let me know in the comments below!