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Networking Like A Pro

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MOMMY NETWORK by Susan Fishback

Welcome to the art of networking

Many people know they should be networking; but what does that mean?

  • Does networking only happen at specific meetings?
  • Do you have to be in a specific field?
  • Networking in the most general sense is talking with other working professionals about you and the other person.

 

This can happen at the grocery store or a meeting and it can work for people in any field.  It often takes practice and you can start with small steps.

Often starting the conversation is the most difficult.  Luckily, this can be practiced all the time.  When you are out and about; smile and make eye contact with at least one person.

If you are standing in line at the store or at a kids’ activity smile and say “hello” to the person next to you.  The simple act of smiling and making eye contact shows that you are friendly and confident.  This is especially important at networking events.

It makes you approachable and allows other people to begin the conversation.  Simply saying hello to the person next to you at a kids’ event can lead to small talk and casual networking.

Keep it simple.  When asked about your background, give a simple, concise answer and ask the other person a similar question.  Effective networking should be a balance of talking and listening.  Small talk is easy for some people and difficult for others.

If you are attending an event, you can write down your questions and answers before going.  Practice your responses with family members and friends.  It seems silly, but it is a huge help when you enter the room.

Always carry business cards!  In today’s world, you can make your own business card on the computer if you don’t have one for work.  It doesn’t have to be fancy in the beginning, just something that has your name, contact info and what you do.  You never know when you need to hand one out – opportunities present themselves at random times.

Instead of giving someone your number verbally, give them a card.  The more people who have your card, the more likely someone will think of you when they need your services.

Building relationships isn’t immediate, but with practice you will build your career network.  The most important part is to enjoy yourself as you are out meeting new people.  Continue to practice and smile!

Catch up on more posts by Mommy Network, Susan Fishback, at www.blackberrymom.com and read some of her other thoughts at www.simplymoderndance.com or follow her on twitter @susanfishback.

 

 

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