As we gear up for next week’s networking meetup in San Francisco (am trying out the name Community Connection Events – would love to know your thoughts!) I thought I would share three tips from Karen Wickre’s excellent book.
THREE THINGS for you to do at a networking event:
- Find common ground quickly.
If you know someone in common – maybe the person who introduced you, start there!
Or can you find people or places that you know in common? (if you’re at a conference, their nametag may well have their institutional affiliation on it. Do you know anyone who works there/has been there?
2. Another great strategy is to have little stories at the ready to share
Here at Career Linguist, I call these pocket examples, little things that exemplify how you work, what you are thinking about these days. Wicre’s example: “I was an army brat, and that’s what led me to real estate. I want to help people put down roots!”
3. Discover a future to-do.
Use the conversation to find something that you can connect around. Maybe it’s a subject they are interested in, so when you see an article or event, you could send them a link Wickre’s example: “I’m really looking forward to your presentation on user research next month. If you need to practice running through your deck, I’d be happy to help.”
AS you can see even within these three tips, Wickre’s excellent book is especially excellent because it reminds readers that most of the work of networking doesn’t happen at the event itself. There is work to be done beforehand, and the really important work comes AFTERWARDS. Read the book to learn more about how she suggests incorporating practices like a morning routine, gracious notes, keeping a running networking to-do list, and closing out the day with gratitude.