Networking is one of the most valuable tools you can utilize. By attending events, you can connect with people who will help you, and more importantly whom you can help, too. You’ll get from networking what you put into it, so it’s important to put in quality.
Dina Simon is one of the best networkers I know. She leads Simon Says Give, a wonderful charity that gives back to children in need. The biggest asset Dina possesses is her ability to have a conversation about what she may need from you, while also making a point to directly ask, “What can I do to help you?” If there’s something Dina can do to help, she will. That, in essence, is great networking.
To become a meaningful networker like Dina, it’s important to make sure you’re networking in the right way. When you’re at an event, make sure you have an objective. You shouldn’t aim to attend any and every networking event, also known as “serial networking,” because it can limit your credibility. By picking activities where you can identify an objective for being there, you are more likely to meet the right people.
Once you know which event you’re attending, you can then focus on an individual or two you’d like to connect with. After you’ve identified this person, remember to engage with additional individuals as well – you never know who you’ll meet. This can help you relax and make you more comfortable when you connect with the individual(s) you are seeking.
To read additional advice on networking, check out an article I wrote for the St. Thomas business alumni blog, titled ”How to Work a Room and Make Networking Purposeful.” Remember, the better you are at something, the more you enjoy it. So, make the time to become better at networking!
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Photo Credit: St. Thomas Newsroom, Mike Ekern