Professional networking can be a tricky business. Do keep in touch with your closest and most-valued connections, especially those who are moving in interesting circles and have a history of career advancement.
Effective networking is a skill that every professional should attempt to improve on. Talking with strangers and making quick connections may come easily to some people but prove to be quite difficult for others.
What if that's not actually the case? What if, by simply labeling myself as an introvert, I'm transforming this into a self-fulfilling prophecy? Some of the labels we assign to ourselves are holding us back. Because of them, we don't see the "other path" when it presents itself.
I truly believe that we can help luck along by being prepared for opportunity when it knocks. And one of the must-have tools in our storytelling arsenal is the infamous Elevator Pitch - or the "quickpitch" as I have often dubbed it.
As the founder of a digital dating consultancy, I know that relationship development really begins when you meet offline. To create meaningful connections, you need to put the phone down. Face-to-face is the new FaceTime. But even for me, saying hello at a networking event isn't always easy.
Hopefully you can take something away from just a sliver of my father's wisdom. I've been sustaining on it for over 35 years. And happy Father's Day to my dad and to all fathers who have imparted a lifetime of lessons to the next generation.
Done right, networking can be the silver bullet for building your profile, gaining new business opportunities and building your career. But what happens when you show up to an event and just can't find ways to engage with others?
Just in the past few months of making "I'm amazing!" my go-to response, I've received a free basket of peaches, free car service, free bus fare, an extra scoop of ice cream, and a whole list of other interesting perks.
While opportunities are great and often hard to come by, an equally important skill for entrepreneurs is learning how to discern between the opportunities that are worth pursuing and those that are not.
It's very rare you'll walk into a room full of women who are there just to hand out business cards. In my experience, the majority of women network to build relationships they can use both personally and professionally. They get that business networking isn't about business, it's about life.
Networking is a great way to build your business. In fact, it's pretty much a requirement for small and medium business owners these days. And yet, so many cringe at the thought, finding it stressful, frustrating and in the end, not very helpful.
Starting and ending conversations at networking is without a doubt where most of that unavoidable networking awkwardness occurs. But it doesn't have to be that way. There's nothing wrong in going into an event with some intro and outro ideas up your sleeve.
Sure, it is often more comfortable to mingle with friends -- with the people we know. But that won't necessarily make you successful. Instead, when you walk into a room, be bold. Target the people who have influence.
In no particular order, here are 10 stupid questions -- yes, Virginia there are stupid questions -- and networking faux pas. These are applicable universally but overheard/developed at the 39th Annual National Black Journalists Association Convention and Career Fair #NABJ14
When you are solely focused on building a career, everything else can seem inconsequential. Building new relationships, while maintaining existing ones, is an important part of your business success. How do your social skills measure up?