Who you know is as important as what you know. Which is why I took my own advice and sponsored some summer networking events in Boston and New York this past month. (Proceeds benefited two great causes.) Perhaps some of you reading this attended or saw the events posted on my site or on Eventbrite. It was fun to reconnect with past clients and colleagues as well as friends and even family members.
Maybe it’s been a while since you focused on expanding your network. It’s not too late. Summer isn’t over. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your career or want a positive group of supportive people, maybe it’s time to do some summer networking. Here are important tips to remember…
Prepare by Defining Your Perfect Network: I take clients through a process Soul Search, Research, and Job Search. I support them in understanding who they are and what they most want from their careers. This helps them identify whom they most want to network with. And with sites liked LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s easier now more than ever to connect with the right people. Recently a client was put in touch with a heavy hitter in financial services. Because she had done her Soul Search, she was able to articulate to this person, the type of role and the type of company she wanted to work with. It’s led to productive networking conversations that she otherwise might have been able to cultivate.
Navigate and Build Solid Relationships: Be someone people want to associate with. Take a genuine interest in others. Ask questions about who they are and what they are looking to do. Be of service and give help before you need it. I was contacted by someone who wanted to do career coaching. Unfortunately every time we talked the person was only intent on “picking my brain” and didn’t offer any type of help or support in return. Needless to say, I cut ties with that person after just a few conversations when I realized how one sided the relationship would be. Don’t be that someone who always asks for favors or help for themselves. Be that someone who provides proactive support.
Get the Most Out of Networking by Being Memorable: I often find people leave out important details of their stories. They downplay successes and don’t share the heartfelt reason(s) behind their career aspirations. Before your next networking event, ask yourself these questions
♣ What do really want to do?
♣ What life experience led you to want to do this?
♣ What help do you need to get there?
I’ve coached many people to create and share this kind of “elevator pitch with the personal touch.” Why? I’ve realized that when networking, its the personal details that stick. If you want to be remembered, you’ve got to let people in on not just what you want to do but why doing that is important to you. Read my elevator pitch with the personal touch.
Stay tuned for more networking events happening in New York this October and check out my mastermind series starting in September. Together, we can help each other make a great living!