This title is slightly deceiving because meeting 10,000 people at once is impossible obvi (I use that word a lot so I apologize in advance), but I got the inside scope on networking.
Networking to me is like connecting the dots…little by little they all come together in one way or another and you don’t even realize it until you look back at everything.
- Networking events. I know it sounds daunting, but go to a networking event alone. Going with someone makes it harder to meet people because you’re more likely to hang out with your friend rather than step out of that comfort zone and introduce yourself to others.
- Business cards. If your company doesn’t have business cards, make your own. Canva.com has the cutest designs and you can order them through a local printer.
- Spontaneity. Practice talking to strangers everywhere- at the grocery store, at the bank, at the bar..again, sounds weird but I’ve learned the best way to practice spontaneous conversation is being spontaneous. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. You learn how to pick up on people’s signals, what people like to hear the most, what people like to hear the least, etc. You also never know who you’re going to meet. That person could be a connection to another person who knows someone else who interviews you for a job. “Life’s all about the little things.”
- Informational interviews. Set up informational interviews with companies you would like to work for, or just in the same industry you’re focused on. I got a previous job from an informational interview because we clicked immediately. And then that connection turned into a job I have now! Even if it doesn’t turn into something in that moment, I promise you in the future knowing these connections will benefit you in the long run.
- Personal branding. What makes you stand out from others? What are your strong points? What are your weaknesses? Get to know yourself even better. Make lists. Memorize them. Networking and job interviews are a chance to sell yourself, aka your personal brand. When you know every bit of your personal brand, selling it to others will be a piece of cake.
- Dress to impress. Alongside your personal brand, have a personal style. Stand out at those networking events because when you look good, you feel good and it shows. The outfit below is my go-to. Side note: do not wear bright colors, but add a pop of color with accessories.
Clutch: Vera Bradley
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Anne Klein