The term ‘networking’ is a lexical term that has entered our vocabulary via the language of computers. In information technology, a network is a series of interlinked computers or devices that can communicate via the internet or a physical link like wires. Networking in the human world is similar; it is all about building relationships with others. That might sound like the normal process of making friends however, the purpose is completely different.
Making connections and networking is something that is done strategically in order for future gain. This is not to be taken negatively; everyone needs to have connections in order to progress in their career. Lately, networking has become common with the corporate sector as it is a good way of connecting with people who have similar aspirations and the resources to get the job done. Cocktail parties and mixers are often used in order to promote networking, but there are plenty of other places where you can also make a connection.
Large Group Gatherings
Needless to say, group gatherings are the best place for you to network, especially if it is outside the office and with strangers. For instance, conferences Geelong or other cities hold draw large crowds and most of them are strangers so you could capitalize on that and introduce yourself. Most people are looking for buddies anyway, and if it turns into a profitable relationship in the future, then all the better for you.
Out on Holiday
Yes, vacations and holidays are meant for relaxation but if you are a professional, never leave home without your business card. There are plenty of guests at hotels who may not be looking for business connections but will hang onto your card. Then there are the hotels themselves. If you are in the tourism industry or are in any way related to the industry, you can use it as an opportunity to promote yourself, talk to a manager casually, and leave your business card. Of course, you should always ask for one of theirs too and don’t let the connection wither away! Call them up a few days later and remind them of who you are in order to reinforce your name and title onto their memories.
You know the party where someone invited you (you can’t remember who) and now you’re hanging around awkwardly because the one person you know in the entire house has gone off to chat with someone else? This is the perfect opportunity for you to network because a) people are open and responsive to new faces b) their inhibitions are lower c) you have nothing to lose anyway. Don’t go and speak to every little friend group you meet. Be smart about it. Scan and assess the room and try to figure out which individuals would be worth your time. Then, casually insert yourself into the group/conversation and eventually try to speak to that person one on one.