Networking is a huge part of the job search process, yet it is something that some people shy away from. A recent Forbes article, “5 New Ways to Network (That You Won’t Dread)”, reveals how networking can be done in unconventional ways. Networking should not be something that you dread; it should be something you truly enjoy so your personality shines through while you are out meeting others.
- Reinvent the Meet-and-Mingle: Networking does not always need to be done in business suites. Pick a hobby that you are interested in and join a club! People in relaxed settings are usually more open to and interested in conversation which makes clubs the perfect place to build connections.
- Be In With the In Crowd: Everyone has their favorite restaurant or after-hours location that they love to go to. Do some exploring in your city and see who you can meet this way.
- Take Up a Cause: Volunteering is a great resume builder and way to network. You can never go wrong volunteering. Pick a cause that you are passionate about and see how you can help out. Whether it is a couple hours each week or one day a month, you will be building connections to people with similar passions and interests.
- Work It: Fundraisers are a great place to meet business people. If the ticket price is a bit much for your budget, think about working at the event. Call the charity that is hosting the fundraiser, and see if they need help at the registration desk. This way you will have an automatic “in” to the event, where you can later go and mingle.
- Reconnect With Your Past: One word ~ ALUMNI! College alumni events are probably one of the best places to network, because alumni love to help other alumni. Plus, reunion events are stress free because you already have something in common with everyone in the room: a passion for your school. Connect with your schools Alumni department to see what events they have coming up, and make sure to attend.
The next time you want to go out and build connections, try and think outside of the box. Networking can occur in unexpected places!