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  • Writer's pictureAbby Calabrese

Networking Ideas (That Don't Require Golf Lessons)

Networking is one of the most important skills for success in any career, but it can be especially impactful for women seeking to expand opportunities and build valuable partnerships. While men often have built-in social activities that they can easily gravitate to, women usually have to be a bit more strategic and intentional with their networking.

Strong professional connections made while networking can open doors to new projects, mentors, jobs and more.

In this post, I'll share my top 10 tips for mastering the art of networking to advance your career.

  1. Set Networking Goals Identify the types of roles, industries or experiences you want to learn about. Determine professional conferences or events related to your goals to attend. Having a plan will focus your networking efforts.

  2. Develop Your Elevator Pitch Prepare a 30-second introduction about who you are, your experience and what you're looking for. Practice your pitch so you're comfortable promoting yourself concisely to new connections.

  3. Dress the Part Send the message that you take your career seriously through your professional appearance. Look put together and stylish enough to feel confident making impressions.

  4. Be an Active Listener When meeting someone new, ask questions to learn about them and find ways you may provide value to their work. Engage fully in conversation and let them share.

  5. Follow Up Promptly Always exchange business cards. Within 48 hours, send thank you emails or notes personalized to your discussion. Keep the conversation going through continual follow up.

  6. Leverage Introductions Ask contacts if they know anyone else you should connect with to expand your reach. Introduce acquaintances to each other when opportunities align.

  7. Get Involved Online and Offline Join industry organizations and women's professional groups. Attend events regularly to build familiarity with your network over time.

  8. Ask for Informational Interviews Reach out humbly to more senior women seeking career advice based on their experiences. Everyone starts somewhere.

  9. Offer Assistance to Others Find ways to contribute your skills, knowledge or insights which helps cement your value within the professional community.

  10. Maintain Connections Continuously Send periodic messages, connect on social media, express gratitude as your relationships develop. Nurture your network long-term.

Networking is a long game but crucial for advancing your career as a woman. Commit to continuously growing your professional connections through strategic relationship building. Let me know if you need any other networking tips!

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