Happy New Year! I hope that 2020 brings you peace and abundance.
At any point in your career, networking is valuable. Early on, you can meet experienced people who will guide you, inform you or introduce you to other people. Further along, you can pass the torch and help less experienced people.
Most people I speak with avoid networking because:
- They don’t want to bother any one
- They don’t want to go to a networking event alone
- They don’t have time
- They don’t know what to say
The benefits of networking include:
- Learning about what’s going on in your industry
- The ability to reassess your current job and potential career paths
- Increasing your visibility to others
- Establishing long term relationships
If you’re avoiding networking, you can try:
- Contacting people who went to your college
- Speaking with people within your own company, at all levels
- Go with a friend to an event
- Understand your personality and comfort level
- If you’re an introvert: try inviting someone for a cup of coffee, for 30 minutes.
- If you’re an extrovert: look for larger networking events OR establish your own networking event.
Preparing for networking events with lots of people:
- Bring business cards! Wear something that makes you feel great.
- Prepare a short 10-second sentence to introduce yourself: “Hi, I’m Suzanna. I’m an Accountant at Wonderful Company. How are you today? “
- Ask people questions such as “What company are you with?”, “What do you do there?”, “What brought you to this event?”, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
Preparing for one-on-one networking or informational interviews:
- At a minimum, look at the person’s LinkedIn profile. If you have more time, look at their company’s website.
- Prepare 5-10 questions. Examples include:
- “How did you get into architecture?”
- “What have you enjoyed the most about your career?”
- “I’m feeling stuck in my current position. Are there any insights you could offer about where I can go from here?”
- “Do you recommend pursuing a Masters Degree or Certifications?”
After all that effort!!
- Follow up with a short, friendly email, LinkedIn message or text to the people you met.
- Depending on your preferred networking style, look for events to attend or people you can meet with.