Networking- Just Dive In

Networking events have become a signature for professionals, especially young professionals. It’s a great way to meet people and talk directly about their careers without awkwardness. Though these events can be great for meeting people the scene can be intimidating. Don’t stress just go in and get to networking.

1.       Set a Goals. It can be easy to get overwhelmed in the crowd or stuck talking to one person for an extended period of time. Determine a set number of people that you would like to talk to. Start small, with maybe three go from there. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break and regroup then head back in to meet someone else.

2.       Go Solo. It’s comforting to be with a friend or two, but it’s also intimidating to those who come by themselves. Don’t stay in a group but venture by yourself to meet people.

3.       Keep an Open Mind. Don’t limit yourself to meeting only people who work in your field or at companies you like. By doing this you may miss out on a great encounter. You never know who knows someone so be open to talk to anyone and find a common point of interest.

4.       When in Doubt Let Them Talk. Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. Show genuine interest in the person you are talking to and ask questions, they’ll take it from there.

5.       Follow Up. This is the most important. So many people leave networking events with business cards and contact information and do nothing with it. Follow up and mention something you talked about. The benefits of networking events come after, not during.