Browsing through my friend’s blog site yesterday, one of her articles really stood out. She discussed the methods she believes to be best practices while networking. I found it informative for my personal endeavors I couldn’t help but share.
Visit her website: http://www.theurbaneffluence.com/
Contact her on Twitter: @ivyleague_money
In your professional career, suddenly networking events are almost critical depending on how propelled you feel about upward movement in the success ladder. I know I am not the only one that has experienced a networking event flop. There is a very thin line between too informal and borderline formal. And there is an unrealistic pressure to meet, greet and collect business card contacts to archive because if we haven’t created any sense of relationship, then these contacts are not really contacts…right?!
Right! So I have found recently that I seem to thrive better when I feel like I am in control of my situation. Here’s an example: I went to a holiday party for a company that I worked for awhile ago. I probably worked for the company 5 weeks prior to the holiday party so I didn’t know many people personally. I decided to dress in my most comfortable formal attire, and go to the party to meet my partners (co-workers), not meet strangers and hope we soon become acquainted to discuss business insights and so forth. It worked! I feel like I have been stressing corporate engagements, networking events, interviews, and all other formal meetings. The tip is this: It is very minimal and intentional. It takes minimal effort to act as yourself and strike up interesting, sometimes personable conversations and the relationship building that happens as an extension of saying hello to someone, well that is very intentional. We/you all want to make our/your planned interactions when meeting new people, intentional relationships.
Here are a few more tips that I have found useful:
1. Dress in your best formal/ business casual attire
Over the years I have been able to, most times, find that dressing in my Sunday’s finest where I look and feel super confident. There is something about feeling very confident in your skin that allows you to focus and be more attentive and almost attention grabbing. The distraction of constantly wanting to look in the mirror and check to make sure your bow tie is not crooked, or that your skirt is not too tight can be very worry-some, and worst of all, it shows in your complete demeanor. How can you walk up to someone confidently announcing your presence and you are not 100% confident with your appearance?! Even though those mixers say come in your business casual attire, take this as an opportunity to leave a quick lasting impression on someone by standing out and being that guy or girl that was dressed so immaculately.