It seems that networking groups are sprouting like weeds these days, which is a good thing. I personally am associated with various networking groups, as each one of them serves a different purpose in my life, such as business development, spiritual growth and personal development. Professional networking events can take the form of an informational seminar or workshop, a cocktail-hour meet and greet, an educational event or a more formal round-table discussion.
My Top 5 Tips for Successful Professional Networking are:
1. Find a networking environment that suits your personality.
There is no point in going to a cocktail meet and greet if you are not comfortable standing around going from person to person trying to make connections. It can be intimidating at first, so ensure you go to an event that you will be comfortable and confident in and if possible, take a friend along with you to break the ice. A great place to start is Meet-Up which is a global site linking people to networking groups all over the world, and the topics are endless.
2. Be consistent.
Once you find a networking group that you like that benefits your cause, it is really important to consistently attend the meetings. The best way to network is to build trusting relationships with your network group, as they will potentially get you through the good, the bad and the ugly.
3. Know why you are there.
Defining to yourself, and later to others, why you are attending a networking group will ensure you get the most out of it. It will also open you up to opportunities, as the people you meet may have contacts or advice for you, if they know what your needs are. Getting clear on your expected outcomes will make each event much more beneficial.
4. Exchange contact details.
The whole point of networking is to meet people who can potentially add value to your life in a certain way. Exchanging contact information such as an email address and cell/mobile phone number is a great way to keep in touch and to check in with each other in between meetings. Bring up-to-date business cards with you and give them to each person you meet.
I am part of an entrepreneurs networking group that meets once a month. At the end of each meeting we each set ourselves goals to achieve before we meet the following month. This is a powerful way to keep yourself motivated and moving forward as now there is a responsibility you have ultimately to yourself but also to your group as well. The beauty of setting goals each month is that when we don’t reach our goals, the ideas and support that flow through my team re-aligns us and motivates us to keep going and to try again. There is an amazing force that a team of people can create in wanting to help others achieve their goals and you should embrace this concept 100%.
Going to professional networking events with an open mind and a smile on your face can have such a profound impact on your life and your mission.
http://www.hercareeradvice.com Julie Kelly, the Founder and voice behind Her Career Advice, is a very successful, professional woman, who helps other women gain confidence, skills and strategies to master the workforce through her books, blog and other online tools. Her Career Advice is an online resource aimed at empowering and educating women on how to have successful careers and ultimately fulfilling lives.
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