Networking can be tough - especially when it's being proven that it's seen as a 'man's game'. Being taken seriously as a woman professional can be tricky to some, so here are our favourite tips at putting your best foot forward.
Don't view networking as an extension of your job - view it AS your job
Going to a few events a week is fantastic start at getting the networking ball rolling. However, too many professionals neglect the number one place they can meet other like minded businesswomen - the workplace! If you're going to work every day in an office setting, there are probably a lot of sub departments and employees that you know of, but haven't really had the chance to speak to them. Now is your time! Talk to your colleagues and make the time to take a fellow colleague you don't speak to much out for a drink or a bite to eat. Sometimes what you're looking for is right in front of you.
Keep personal and professional separate
Women especially seem to fall into the trap of befriending someone to then create a professional relationship. Although this might work for some, you run the risk of losing a friend if a business deal falls through or they're just not that great at their job as they seem to be. It can be difficult, but know your limits, and aim to make a professional connection with someone you are trying to network with before becoming best buds.
Connect before the networking event
Living in the age of social media, networking has literally never being easier. However it's also easy to cross the line from 'just finding out basic information' to 'complete stalker.' So definitely do your research on the person and their company that you would like to make a connection with before meeting them, but steer clear of finding out (and bringing up) personal information about the person. A quick connection request on LinkedIn should do suffice.
Most importantly - have fun! It is a cliche but it is for a reason. People are drawn to positive attitudes and if you ooze confidence (even if it's not really feel on the inside) people will want to talk to you.
This article was first posted on Midnight Memories and has been re-posted here with permission.