Networking is something that many of us do but how well are we doing it is the question.
It’s true that many of us haven’t even grasped the concept of networking or the importance of doing so.
Kat Boogard of GoSkills defines networking as simply building and maintaining mutually-beneficial long-term relationships with others.
In the professional world, networking is essential and leveraging connections can really advance your career!
Before we get into that, let’s start with the basics.
Here’s how to prepare yourself for a networking event
You should be able to walk into an event with an idea of who you’d like to meet, why you’d like to meet them, and how you can be as alluring to them as they are to you.
Practice Your Pitch
Rehearse your elevator pitch and be prepared to belt it out numerous times to numerous people but make it fun and sound confident!
Bring Business Cards; Be sure to have your business cards handy and a good amount of them. A good rule of thumb is to create virtual cards as well since times are changing! Folks tend to text/email their contacts now. You can even go as far as to acquire scannable QR codes!
Quality Over Quantity
It’s not necessary to chat with EVERY single person at the event. The key to networking is to make VALUABLE connections so there might not be a need for an insurance adjuster to spend the evening chatting with another insurance adjuster, per se, as there’s some conflict of interest.
Talk to The Timid
Spot the stragglers and spark up a conversation! You aren’t the only one nervous about talking to people so join forces with another bashful buddy and make a connection!
With that being said, let’s hone in on how to “leverage” these newfound connections.
One of the most important, and least practiced, efforts is the art of following up.
The first 24-48 hours is the best time to reach back out to everyone and remind them of how you met AND how nice it was meeting them!
From here on, you stay in touch by either scheduling a coffee date or sending an email with more information about what it is you do and how you can be of service to them.
Don’t be afraid to add one another on social media, as long as your account is professional and is a good reflection of yourself and your organization.
Networking is one way I like to keep the humdrum a little less mundane.
It allows me to connect with others like myself living and leading a life like mine but striving to maintain the safeness and sanity of the workplace and art of expression in the industry.
Let’s work together to get ahead and stay grounded at the same time!
Remember; You heard it here first. All 2022, we’re going to captivate, connect, collaborate!