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Make it the Year of the Networking Conversation

Make it the Year of the Networking Conversation

Let’s make 2021 the year of the Networking Conversation! Yes, we are already a month into the new year. But it’s not too late.  Are you interested in moving up, building your network or growing in the profession? The time is now to not just have conversations, but to make them networking conversations.

FOCUS ON BUILDING YOUR NETWORK  

Normally you would be going to events, attending conferences, traveling and visiting friends and family around the country.

Instead, many of you are stuck at home, quarantining due to the coronavirus.  Take networking into your own hands!  Develop a list of aspirational places of employment, as well as professional colleagues to assist you in growing your network.

IT’S TIME TO GET BUSY

Start by reaching out to those on your list for informational interviews.  The first email should be simple and personalized, not a form email. Introduce yourself in a sentence or two. Ask them if they would join you for a 15 minute informational conversation.

Make it perfectly clear — YOU AREN’T LOOKING FOR A JOB. Or to BORROW MONEY.  You want to grow and to learn more about what makes them successful. If they think you are a job seeker, 99.9 percent of them will delete the email QUICK.  You are looking to have a networking conversation.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH

Email them twice.  Once and then send a follow up a week later.  If they don’t respond, move on. If you want to talk to 10 colleagues – start by emailing 25.

STAY ORGANIZED

Create a spreadsheet to stay organized. Click here for an example of that spreadsheet.

THE NETWORKING CONVERSATION  

Work around their schedule when setting up the conversation.  When you start the call, ask to record it. You will want to review all the nuggets they share with you later.

Be professional. This isn’t a job interview, but leave the best impression impossible. Brush up on your video call etiquette.

POTENTIAL QUESTIONS 

What was your career goal in college?

Have you always enjoyed what you are doing?

What was your career path to where you are now?

I am doing this (____) and am looking to make the move up – do you have suggestions?

Can you recommend someone else I can reach out to continue to grow and learn more?

THANK YOU NOTE 

Afterwards, send them a handwritten note thanking them for their time.  Make sure you add your business card.  If you don’t have one – make one. You can get 100 printed at Vista Print for $15.

FOLLOW-UP NETWORKING

Follow up with whom they recommend.  Connect with the person you spoke to on LinkedIn and reach out again in a couple of months.

If you have additional suggestions — please share them with this post on @BeeYoungComms social media.

DISCOVER MORE ON NETWORKING

To learn more about what Bee Young Comms can do to help you or your team, contact us today.

Follow @BeeYoungComms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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