Hi Fabulous Working Females! This week, I want to talk about one of my favorite topics…networking. In my opinion, networking is just as important to growing and learning in your career as it is in mastering your day-to-day role. Networking helps you grow your connections, your credibility, and most importantly teaches you lessons in your career that daily tasks can’t. Some of the best career tips and advice I’ve ever received came through networking opportunities.
REMEMBER: Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t.
WHO DO I NETWORK WITH?
The answer is, as many people as possible. They can be in different department’s if you’re looking to explore different career paths, they can be higher up in your department, they can be in the role you are looking to grow into next, or they can even be the same level as you! There is no limit to who you can network with, and meeting with one person is just as valuable and important as the next.
SET UP A MEETING!
To set up a networking meeting, simply send an e-mail to who you are looking to set up time with! This may feel intimidating at first, especially if you are reaching out to someone in a higher position, but trust me-mostly everyone is more than willing to have a conversation, and appreciates those that show their interest.
Make the subject of your e-mail something like “Meet & Greet with (your name)” or “Career Chat with (your name)”
Body of E-mail:
Draft your e-mail with something like
“Good Morning/Afternoon ___,
I hope your week is going well so far!
My name is ____ _____, and I am a (your position here). I am reaching out in hopes to set up some time with you to introduce myself, learn about your career journey, and receive advice as I am looking to grow in my career. Please let me know a day and time that works best for you.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
(your name here)
Once you hear back from the person you reach out to they may tell you a day and time that works for them, or tell you to set some time on their calendar when they are available. Send the calendar invite as soon as you can. This way, the meeting is set, they don’t get double booked, and you don’t forget and lose out on the opportunity.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU:
When networking in your career, you want to come off professionally. Always bring with you a copy of your resume, no matter who you are meeting with. If you have a one sheet or a deck you have been working on, bring a copy for them too. You can position it when giving it to them for advice on what they think, areas of improvement, and this also allows for them to have a copy of your information if future positions arise.
Always bring a notebook and pen with you to networking meetings. It is respectful of you to take notes on any advice you receive, experiences shared, and helps you remember your conversation afterwards when taking notes.
WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT?
There is so much to talk about! You will realize during your meeting that there just won’t be enough time. If you’re having trouble, below are some tips.
“Hi! It is such a pleasure to meet with you, thank you so much for taking the time. My name is ___ ___, and I am a (your position) (your team)”
“Here is a copy of my resume, I would love any feedback you have.”
Ask about THEM!
People love to talk about themselves, let’s be honest. Ask about their journey, where they started, how they ended up where they are today, and what helped them get there. Say something like “I have heard such wonderful things about you, and wanted to take the time to meet with you to learn about your career journey and tips and advice that helped you grow in your career.”
Ask for advice:
Tell them about your journey, and your aspirations. Tell them about projects you have worked on, and what your goals are. From there, ask for any advice they may have for you. LISTEN TO THEM! This is where I learned the most valuable tips in my career.
At the end of your conversation, be sure to thank the person who you met with as they took the time out of your day to meet with you. Be sure to send a thank you e-mail once you are done, speaking on some key points you spoke of, and some take-away’s you had from the meeting. Be sure to end the e-mail with “I look forward to keeping in touch!”
And boom, there you have it. You now have one more person in your professional network, one more person with your resume, and one more person on your side by showing your passion and drive. No matter your position or years of experience, you never stop learning! That’s all for now FWF’s. Get out there and meet others, learn from them, keep in touch with them-you never know where you’ll encounter them in the future of your career…