Guest contributed by Avery Philips
Before you step foot in any networking event, it’s best to have some questions prepared to avoid those awkward moments of silence.
Ask these questions the next time you’re at a networking event to secure connections:
- How did you hear about this event?
- What’s your favorite thing about your job?
- Have you always wanted to work in this field?
- How can I help you?
These kinds of questions show your interest in the other person and allow for longer conversations. You can also learn something new and discover the kind of connections they have with other people. Finally, by offering your services to prospective business connections, they may offer their services in return.
Utilize Alumni Networks
As it turns out, a college education can provide a lot more than a degree and student debt. Alumni associations like Arizona State’s offer a wide variety of networking resources to help you advance in your career. Here’s are some best practices for alumni networking you can do:
- Attend events that are open to alumni. Use these get-togethers to form in-person connections that can result in lasting relationships.
- Volunteer at your alumni association. Getting involved shows your overall interest and your willingness to put in the effort to take advantage of these resources. It will also get you into contact with like-minded individuals who will remember you when opportunities arise.
- When you get in touch, stay in touch. Plan coffee and lunch meetups to keep you fresh in business professionals’ minds. Don’t forget to email them as well and see what’s new with them.
Explore Other Networking Groups
Although the college you graduated from offers a wealth of networking resources, there are plenty of other networking outlets at your disposal. That way, networking can work for you instead of the other way around. Here are a few you should look into:
- General Networking: There are many conferences all over that allow a variety of people to come together and network. Even if someone isn’t in your field, you can find different opportunities and new paths to take by networking with different kinds of people.
- Seminars: Accomplish two things by signing up for a seminar. Not only will you get to learn new things, you’ll also be able to network with speakers and attendees. You never networkingknow who will come to these events, so it’s best to be observant and to talk to as many people as you can.
- Social Media: Almost everyone is on social media, and they’re only one direct message away. Look for business professionals you think would be instrumental in your career and comment on their posts. Ask them questions about themselves and how they became successful. More likely than not, they’ll be more than happy to tell you.
Networking is a must if you want to be successful in your career. Who you know can be just as important as how well you do your job. By following these tips, your networking skills will be as stellar as your job performance, opening the doors to many job opportunities for you.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of guest contributors are not necessarily those of theglasshammer.com