As the Christmas carol classic Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly goes “’tis the season to be jolly”, so what better time of year to do some networking? Embrace the rounds of Christmas after work drinks, work parties and even festive networking events, and expand your business contacts via old fashioned face to face networking.
Whether you are actively looking for a job, or not, networking is always a good way to expand your connections, as you never know who you might meet, or what opportunity you might come across. Networking can be perceived as a bit scary or challenging, especially if you are early on in your career. To help with this we have put together 7 tips for effective networking to get you off so a flying start.
1. Do some research
Try and get a list of attendees, if it is an organised networking event, or a general idea of who will be there if it is drinks or an office party. Research the attendees and plan who you really want to talk to. That way you can maximise your time talking to the right people.
2. Have the right attitude
If you see this as an opportunity to meet new people, build new relationships and learn new things then it can be a lot less intimidating. Smile as this makes you appear open and welcoming and will make it easier for people to connect with you and gives a lasting first impression.
3. Don’t drink too much
Resist the temptation to indulge in too many alcoholic drinks to calm your nerves! One or two may help, but you want to remember your focus for the evening and not make a lasting impression for the wrong reasons.
4. Listen actively
Pay attention to all conversation within your group, don’t just try and steer it in your direction. Showing active listening by making a relevant comment on what someone else has been talking about can make a better impression.
5. Don’t sell yourself
Dress to impress, this may not be job interview but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to make an effort. Be confident, informative and capable but remember there is a fine line between confidence and being overbearing – try not to cross it!
6. Be prepared
Think about any questions that you may be asked about your career and have some short responses planned to illustrate your strengths and skills. It may be worth having an “elevator pitch” style summary of your career, and career aspirations, ready to say at a relevant point in conversation. Make sure you have your business cards to hand, so you can give interested contacts your details.
7. Follow up
Most importantly – if you arranged to call or e-mail anyone at the networking event, or party, then make sure you do! See if you can find any of the contacts you made on linked In and connect with them, maybe send them a message if there was something else you wanted to discuss further but didn’t get the chance at the time.
If you want to get any further advice about networking or are looking for the next step in your career, then please get in touch. Red Tiger Talent specialise in sourcing talent in the areas of location planning, property research, property investment analysis, economic research, social policy research, customer analytics and consumer insight. We will be available over the Christmas period on email, LinkedIn and Twitter, unless we are out partying – I mean networking!