The holiday season – the perfect time to network if you’re not a natural networker
For many people, the thought of attending a networking event strikes an immediate chord of terror. For others, the opportunity to mix with potential clients and business associates is thoroughly enjoyable. They find mingling with complete strangers exciting, not terrifying.
For those of us who fall somewhere in the middle, the festive holiday spirit can provide the perfect environment to get yourself mingling.
Unlike the more formal networking events throughout the year, December tends to be filled with more relaxed social gatherings. Whether it's the Christmas tree in the corner, the holiday music, or talk of family and food, walking into a room, even if it's filled with people you barely know, somehow just feels less intimidating.
There is no doubt that networking is one of your most important tools for successful career mobility. Whether you are thinking about a career transition or simply deepening your industry knowledge, networking should be a part of your strategy.
Successful networkers tend to be confident and assured, whether growing their business or simply connecting with people face to face.
There are a number of great tips out there to help you through these events, such as be prepared, bring your business cards, arrive on time, etc. But among all of this good advice, I would argue that the most crucial thing to remember is that stories, not facts, tend to make the most lasting impact.
The ability to engage in a way people can relate to and empathise with will get your contacts talking about you for all the right reasons.
Katharine de Vaal, senior consultant for strategy and transformation – Hong Kong, ConnectedGroup