Everyone recommends networking, but how exactly do you do it? I'm awful at making small talk. I will have the chance to attend some workshops, any tips on navigating the coffee breaks and the room during the cocktail events. I will also be going with my boss. Doctors, can it really help career wise?
Mark Enticott - Career Doctor
Posted Friday 25th October 2013 04:05:00 PM
Networking is very important and it can help with your career in many ways. Networking at industry events relating to your area of expertise is a great way to get to know other people working in the same field and can also open up future opportunities that can progress your career. I appreciate that networking for certain individuals can be daunting and difficult to do. Workshops are a great area to start building your confidence in doing this. Talk to the people that you are sitting next to at the workshop during coffee breaks. Asking them questions about their current job, talking about the industry, the market and other topics that might be relevant to the workshop are good places to start. It is good that your boss is also going with you as this provides support to you when you are talking with other people. In relation to a cocktail event, this is a more difficult form of networking for certain individuals. Often you will go to a cocktail event and maybe you don't know anyone there when you arrive. It is important to remember that people are at these events to meet other people. Therefore, you need to have the confidence to go up to people and introduce yourself. Once you have done this several times you will realise that people are more than happy to meet and talk. You will also find that the more of these events you attend, the more people you will get to know and often you will see the same people at future events. I would always recommend that you exchange business cards when you meet with a new person and also connect with them on professional social media networks afterwards. This will help you stay in touch with these people post event.