Networking Like a Professional

You’ve no doubt heard of “networking,” the practice of interacting with others for the purpose of advancing your career. But how does it work? No matter what industry you work in, you can put your people skills to work for you. Here are some tips to get you started.

Invest in yourself by updating your resumé and business cards. Be ready to share concrete information about yourself at a moment’s notice. Keep a stack of business cards on hand to share with industry contacts and make sure you have printed and digital copies of your resumé (even at home) on hand and ready to share.

Attend industry events. Chances are, your industry has some sort of professional organization. Find a local chapter and make plans to periodically attend their events. Seminars and conferences are another great way to make contacts and brush up on the latest industry news while interacting with leaders in your area.

Don’t be afraid to meet the movers and shakers. Once you’ve made it to an industry conference or event, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the speakers or leaders in attendance. Hand out one of those business cards, and send them a follow-up email the next day. The possibilities are endless, but reaching out is the first step.