Networking for newbies

Jessica sitting at a table with her friend

Networking can seem scary, especially since we can’t hide behind our screens anymore. Online or not, networking can be made easy with a little preparation. Here are my top four tips and tricks for making long-lasting connections when networking!   

  1. Prepare for the event: You’ve been invited to a networking event, way to go! Make sure you properly prepare yourself to meet new people. It’s easy to fall into routine small talk, but to make real connections you need to stand out! Practice your elevator pitch and brainstorm interesting things about you that make you unique.  

  2. Channel your inner sleuth: With so many free and accessible online sources ready at your fingertips, it’s super easy to learn more about the people you’re going to meet ahead of time. Do some light research and see if there’s anybody who has similar interests as you - it’s a great way to find common ground for seamless conversation starters! 

  3. Don’t be shy: Networking events can be intimidating, especially since you are walking up to people you don’t know and introducing yourself to them. Remember that everybody attends networking events to meet new people, so this is all totally normal! If you are hesitant, network with a friend to remove some of the awkwardness or discomfort!  

  4. Stay in touch with your connections: You killed the networking session and now have an amazing connection! Don’t let the relationship die out. Be sure to reach out regularly to check-in. This will maintain your relationships and help the people you connected with keep you in mind for any future professional opportunities! 

While we all want to make quality connections, everybody’s networking process looks different. If you don’t like my tips and tricks, don’t use them! Just relax, be yourself, and most importantly have fun!

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