Here at Bloom Talent, we love networking and want you to too! We’ve all heard how important networking can be to your career success but also recognize that not everyone knows how to approach it. Below are Bloom Talent’s tips for making the most out of your networking experience at every step of the way.
Do your research- choose an event or organization that not only aligns with your career goals but also, your interests. Attend events that stand out to you on a personal level in order to make the most out of your time. This will also allow you to build more authentic relationships. Consider an activity or hobby focused events (i.e. the gym, shopping, dinner parties, classes, etc) - they can be a great way to meet people in a setting that you’re more comfortable in
Ask yourself what your purpose is in attending the event. Thinking along the lines of “what can I give to everyone?” instead of “what can I get out of this?” will help you maintain a more open, positive attitude, and help you create more meaningful connections.
Nurture your existing network- stay in contact and continue to reach out to your friends, previous colleagues and others you’ve met at events. Don’t forget that your current network is one of your strongest assets.
Be prepared to talk about what you do. However, instead of making a “sales pitch” about yourself to others, focus on making 2-3 meaningful connections. Networking is relationship building at it’s core, not strictly reserved for career growth. Connecting with others on a more human basis rather than a business level will help you in both your personal and professional life.
What’s the vibe you’re putting out? If you are naturally introverted, remember the importance of body language. How you stand and hold yourself can make you appear more approachable.
Be genuine to yourself. Talk about what you’re passionate about. When you speak about something you genuinely enjoy, it engages others and makes them more inclined to chat.
Listen and ask questions- everyone has something to offer.Connect the dots. Find common ground with the person you are speaking with and introduce them to friends or individuals at the event you think they would relate to.
Follow up! Everyone is busy, but you shouldn’t let this be an excuse. Solidify your connections with follow up email/text/connect on Linkedin. This is the first step to a deeper connection.
Continue to check in with those in your network on a regular basis. It can be updates on your career, job search, how your connection with them/others helped you, something you chatted about, etc. Connect them to other people in your network that you think could be mutually beneficial to each other.
Use social media to stay on top of your network! Connect on LinkedIn, like or follow their pages and stay in the loop with upcoming events, parties and what they’ve been up to lately.
You have all the networking tools- get out, grow, and nurture your network!