I know its not just me.
It seems like my circle has gotten smaller, and I have less time to "play" with my friends. I've realized that our childhood playgrounds have been replaced with business events. Although some are more formal than others, it doesn't matter what type of event you attend, there's always an opportunity to network. Defined by dictionary.com as "a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest" its a great way to expand your circle.
I love networking -- because it gives us all an opportunity to meet interesting people, expand your circle and elevate professionally, but its all in how you build the relationship.
Here are a few quick tips on networking:
I'm guilty of the Resting B#tch Face. I don't do it on purpose, but to some, I realize it can come across as standoffish and rude.
Its a great non-verbal form of communication that invites conversation!
2. DON'T FOLD OR CROSS YOUR ARMS
I know, sometimes we don't know what to do with out hands, but crossed or folded arms make you seem closed off. Then no one will want to talk to you and learn about your passion, talents or interests.
3. DON'T SELL
Introduce yourself, don't give them you're LinkedIn profile or sales bio. Instead of focusing on what you do, speak about your interests, passion, purpose and talents. Show them how awesome you are!
After you've left the event, collected business cards, followed others on social media, etcetera, make sure that you stay connected. Shoot a text, email, meet for coffee, have lunch. Build the relationship!
I hope that these quick tips are useful. Simply put, networking is just relationship building for adults. Making the right connections can foster great opportunities including brand collaborations, mentorships and job opportunities. In this social media driven world - it is important to stay active on social media, however, doesn't replace live connections and interactions.
Allison Valderia Green Esq, specializes in helping professional women present themselves clearly, concisely and credibly. Part of her work includes leading Girls Who Grind™ , a professional community aimed at helping women become committed to entrepreneurship and career elevation, become part of a positive professional community, and perfect their professional brand.
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