'Tis the season for corporate office parties and just like the rest of us, you might be dreading yours. It’s hard to avoid the “I work 9-5 and don’t want to handle business after hours” slum, especially over the winter months. But there are too many benefits to not put a few events in your calendar this month.
Follow along - here are our favourite networking perks:
Once you start networking, you will realize that you see a lot of the same people at events and you will start to develop a reputation for yourself. Are you picturing yourself walking into a trendy bar and everyone smiling at you and whispering saying “omg, that’s _____” or is that just me…?
Because how else do grown ups make friends? For real though… unless you’ve been friends with them for years or you met through your child’s soccer practice – where are you meeting people? Networking focused events allow you to get to know people and build up some connections without it being uncomfortable. Everyone is there on the same mission, make connections, and you might just meet your new BFF.
With all those new friends and connections, chances are, at least one of them needs your service or can recommend your business to someone else – hence, the increase in sales. By meeting new people, you are expanding your chance for new opportunity and new business. Keep the business cards you collect at events and set up coffee dates with people you found interesting or thought there was a chance to benefit from one another.
You’re as good as the company you keep, or something like that? Hanging around like-minded business people will get you in the zone. You will be surrounded by people who experience what you do on a daily basis and probably have some good stories to share.
Have you ever struggled to explain what you do in less than a five-minute rant? Networking helps you trim that down and fine tune it. You get an opportunity to see how people are responding to what you’re saying and tweak it if necessary. Practice makes perfect!
Sometimes you just need a little ego boost – so go schmooze. You are pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know and have conversations about things that you might not be well versed in, take advantage! The more you do it, the easier it will become and the more you learn.
We recommend aiming for at least one event per month, that you will legitimately be interested in. There is no point wasting your time going to an event that you won’t get enjoyment or connections out of – remember, this is your after hours so don’t make it seem like work!
Hopefully we will see you out at some local networking events. :-)