Networking events are good for connecting with other professionals but there are more ways you can meet others in you field.
LinkedIn has tons and tons of groups for almost every industry and location. People post thoughts, ideas, links and job openings in these groups. If you’re working in a specific area, these groups are a great place to meet people, start discussions and converse in a professional atmosphere. The best part is you can do it from the comfort of anywhere.
Other social media–especially Twitter–offer you the opportunity to follow and chat with anyone creating real connections in a digital space. Try following some people in your field that you find interesting and try asking them questions. Not everyone will get back to you, but most people are interested in sharing their knowledge and growing their networks as well.
Meetup is a great way to find people who have the same interests as you. Whether it’s a book club, writing group, conversationalists hang out or people who get together to talk about shared interests, Meetup offers a way to meet new people doing something fun. Many groups are based on a profession, but don’t limit yourself. Growing your network with people who might not have much to offer your professional career immediately can still become great friends, and you never know what connections they may have.
Similar to Meetup, most cities have a variety of adult recreational sports leagues. Find a sport you like and sign up! You’ll meet a bunch of new teammates who have a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. Again, not everyone of them will be able to help with your professional career, but as you build friendships your network grows and the next time you mention an issue or a desire to change your position, these new friends may know someone who can help.
Networking is really about making authentic connections that help everyone. Networking events can lead to these connections, but they’re not the only thing that can. Brach out and try new ways of meeting people. You’ll find your network will grow in new and unexpected ways.
Smart Circle. Smart Sales. Smart Opportunity.
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