Networking happens everywhere; you never know when you’ll meet that one person who can help you take your career to the next level. Find your next opportunity at one of our upcoming events.
It sounds pretty crazy, but sometimes when people hear the word networking they think that there is some type of special science or technique to making connections with people. However, that is not the case. The same techniques you use when meeting new people and making new friends applies to when you network. Networking and making new professional connections can be done anywhere and everywhere. At the end of May, I moved from sunny Southern California to New York City. A cross country move for any amount of time, whether for a summer or indefinitely, is scary. I came to the city having several distant relatives in Long Island and Brooklyn, but really knowing no one. I knew I needed to make friends and meet new people because I was not going to be alone all summer, so I did what I knew: I went to church. Not only did I meet so many great people, but they all do amazing things. But what does that have to do with networking and making professional connections?
A lot, actually. From Google to Appnexus to Refinery29 to NBCUniversal, I have met so many great people with awesome careers. Joining a community of people who have similar interests, goals, and ideas is a great way to not only make new friends, but possibly make new professional connections. Here are my tips on networking and making connections.
Identify your interests. Finding your passion and interests are a key to developing your career and in developing your life. What do you like to do?
Talk to people. In New York City, people tend to not talk to people they don’t know at the grocery store, on the subway, or at a park, but complimenting someone on their shoes or bag is a great way to break the ice and maybe make a new connection.
Join your community. Explore your interests, volunteer, join a book club or community center class. Getting involved with your local community and with people with similar interests will open up your world to new experiences and new people. For me, that was going to church. Maybe it’s the same for you, or maybe it’s something totally different.
Establishing new connections takes time. Whether they’re personal or professional, few connections happen instantly. You may not meet someone after the first try, but if you continue to take a shot at getting involved, it will become easier. You never know who you could meet, and who those people may know.
Networking should be a result of establishing personal connections. Keep in mind that when you go to various community events, you’re not going just to network. You go to networking events to focus on making professional connections, but you go to church, book club, or volunteer to do that specific activity–nobody wants to feel used because of their awesome job.
How have you networked in your daily life? Are there any tips and tricks to meeting new people? We love to hear your thoughts. Comment below!