Change your approach to networking and you might just find your attitude changes along with it. After all, networking can happen anywhere. So if you really dread the idea of going along to ‘networking functions’ to make new industry connections, maybe stop going.
But that doesn’t mean, stop networking.
It means you have to find other ways to connect with people in your organisation, and your industry, that don’t involve navigating trays of canapés and drinks as you circulate the room.
So, you’ll need to be tuned in to your industry locally, nationally and even globally. And you’ll have to be creative in finding ways to make genuine connections outside of the traditional networking event.
Apart from setting up a seriously compelling LinkedIn profile and joining conversations there, here are some options to consider:
- Virtual events – the actions required to participate in the Global Corporate Challenge aren’t virtual, but you can compete and connect with people in organisations all over the world. You can interact online as you chase exercise and health targets
- Charity fundraisers – events like HBF’s Run for a Reason allow you to form or join teams that represent a particular cause or organisation. There’s usually a social aspect to signing up, whether it’s training together or celebrating afterwards. If you don’t want to run or walk the course, why not join the event as a volunteer – it’s another way to make connections in a less formal setting.
- Conference or trade show stand – if your organisation is hosting a tent or stand at an upcoming industry event, why not volunteer to spend some time there. You’ll have the chance to meet and talk with a lot of new people, without the focus being solely on you.
For more tips on networking, head along to our Stop Googling, Start Networking workshop on this week.