“It’s all about who you know.” This adage is one that we all reluctantly accept, but also one that absolutely rings true whether you’re in search of a new job or just want support on a specific initiative. Having the right connections in life gets us more places than we generally like to admit, but making these connections can seem like an intimidating task. I mean think about it, you’re meeting people (often in an unnatural environment), and trying to form some kind of authentic relationship with them in a very short amount of time. Whether it’s a formal networking event, an industry conference, or simply a chance encounter with a professional that you may want to collaborate with, being able to make and sustain important working connections is an indispensable life skill. So polish those shoes, practice that handshake, and take a gander at a few tips for effective networking!
1. The lead in
Starting a conversation with a stranger is usually the hardest part of networking, particularly if you’re attending a networking event or conference. Just the thought of entering a bustling room full of people you don’t know is enough to make most people shake more than the next Nicki Minaj hit. Before entering the room, make a stop at the bathroom and power pose for a minute. Yup, you heard me, stand in your stall with your back straight, chin up, and a big smile. Once you feel some confidence creeping in, enter the room and take your time to survey it. It might be easiest to start a conversation with one person instead of a group, so after you’ve spotted a worthy target, lead in with a question or a compliment. Be sure to wear your favorite Anjé ensemble to receive some compliments in return 😉.
2. What can you offer?
We naturally look at networking as a way to advance our own agendas, but the most skilled networkers realize that building a strong rapport with someone requires more than meeting them and giving them your elevator pitch. Instead, go into every conversation with a sense of curiosity about what the person does and what their interests are. Any opportunity to help them is your golden ticket.
3.The follow up
So you’ve met some great new people and you want to ensure that you can reach out to them later on down the line. DO NOT forget this last step of networking! You should always reach out to people after you meet them and have exchanged contact info. My go-to is sending a personalized LinkedIn invitation. Don’t feel weird, it’s not like you’re “sliding into their DMs”! In order to make your follow up memorable, be sure to include any lighthearted piece of the conversation you had, or any super specific comment that your new connection made. It’s always a good idea to jot some notes down on their business card after you talk to them so you can refer back to it when you’re drafting your follow up!
Now get your girlboss on and network like a pro! Let us know your favorite networking tips @anjeclothing !