I’m speaking at a City (London) networking event next week, for Mercer, a top Actuarial, Imvestment and Outsourcing firm. I’ve been doing the pre-work with my contact, Eve Read who has helped set up ‘The Vine’, an internal training & networking group. She’s helped me to understand what she thinks would be useful for her clients in a 60 minute, post-work event. One of her key requirements was as follows-
‘… it would be good if we could make a point about “networking” not just being about attending formal networking events, but using other events (e.g. office wide launch event or a leaving do at the pub) as an opportunity to make connections with people that you wouldn’t ordinarily. The point being that I think people will hear “networking” and visualise just formal organised events. Does that make sense?…’
It makes perfect sense. So here’s a list of 9 things anyone can do to network more effectively within their existing circle of colleagues, clients and friends. Including the thoughts Eve introduced in her question-
- Say hello to everyone you meet in your workplace from the moment you enter the building to the moment you leave. Even in the lift and the queue for lunch. Here’s how.
- Introduce yourself to people you don’t know in meetings, social gatherings, coffee breaks and presentations.
- Send people notes and emails to congratulate them on the ‘news’ items you get via email, magazines and chatter around the office.
- Go to the next birthday drinks, lunch or ‘open session’, and make sure you meet everyone who’s there.
- Make a point of meeting new starters at your firm, ‘just to say hi’ within the first week of their arrival.
- Update your company profile and your LinkedIn profile regularly.
- Join or start a ‘Your Firm’ group on LinkedIn.
- Have lunch with someone you like but who you haven’t seen much of at work once a month.
- Send interesting articles and research to people you know with an ‘I saw this and thought of you…’ type note.
There’s nothing here that’s too outrageous is there? What have I missed?
In my next post I’ll look at the next stage of building a network with existing clients, professional colleagues and competitors. For regular hints and tips to your inbox you might like to click here. And to connect with me on LinkedIn, click here.