Welcome to Fall. The season of changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything, cooler temperatures (hopefully), and conferences!
Conferences give us all a great opportunity to meet new people and network, but they can also be an overwhelming and nerve-racking endeavor, often because of the expectation to network.
First, let’s consider why networking matters. Frequently people equate networking to something you do when you want a new job, but that’s actually not the best time to start. You want to begin building relationships long before then. Previously, we’ve shared how to set yourself up for success and networking plays a big role in that. Networking with others in your industry can provide you with the ability to knowledge share, keep up with trends, and discover new strategies, and it provides you with a support system of like-minded professionals who understand your challenges and can offer guidance and advice.
To make it a little easier as you head to your next networking event, let’s distill it down to a few key things to keep top-of-mind this season:
And my biggest piece of advice: PRACTICE! Say your elevator pitch out loud to yourself, jot down big projects you’re working on to keep them top of mind, and just get out there and introduce yourself to people. The goal is not to collect a massive number of contacts but to cultivate meaningful connections. It can feel daunting, but everyone there is in the same boat, and if you approach it with the mindset of building valuable relationships, people will be excited to meet you!
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