Now, how about re-thinking conventional happy hour networking? Below are few more ideas to entertain while you are planning your next professional socializing.
There is a very effective and efficient way to tap into a network of professionals: it is through a mentorship. Mentor is essentially a professionally senior person who will guide you and introduce you to the width of his/her network of craftily selected professionals. Not only you will get a leg in the door, but also have a head start by the pure power of association. Having said that, you need be ready to prove you are a worthy recommendee and a valuable extension to a mentor’s network.
Getting the exposure to a network is certainly valuable, but it’s equally, if not more, important to maintain the links you have established. To reap the fruits of successful connections, you need to nurture and grow them carefully. And it is really all about a giving mindset. Consider sharing an insightful article, notifying about a relevant job opening or introducing your acquaintances with common interests to each other. Think of how you can be a resource and a connector rather than of how to get most out of your network.
And the last thought, my favorite one. Why not making networking a pleasant side-effect of some fun outdoor activity? And we are not only speaking about leisurely and expensive golf here. Economist, for instance, suggests cycling is a new golf. Russia’s leading business school Skolkovo includes mountain trekking into their curriculum as a leadership, self-awareness and relationship building activity. It’s hard to overestimate how sturdy, trustful and deep connections built this way could be, with some obvious benefits to your health as a bonus.
Let me conclude by suggesting to treat networking as building a lasting relationship. Get to know professional on the same wave length, share gratuitously and enjoy!