Moving to a new city can be very challenging both emotionally and physically. When I first moved to Chicago, I only knew a handful of people. Luckily, I had brought with me valuable networking skills that I had learned from my travels abroad.
So how do you go about networking? One way is to get involved in your local community. See what’s going on in the neighborhood; attend hobby-related events that interest you. For example, my interest in technology led me to several networking events ranging from topics such as mobile technology to strategic marketing. Typically, those who attend these events are interested in meeting new people, so it’s a great place to start. Whether you’re pursuing a passion or simply expanding your professional knowledge, you’ll find like-minded individuals at networking events. The key is to network with individuals outside your particular industry, as well as your own, because you never know when a connection could turn into an opportunity.
Getting involved online is another fantastic way to network and has quickly become the meeting place for millions of people. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting down for coffee with people you met at an online networking event. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all wonderful social networking applications. Personally, I use them all. In today’s world, it is quite easy for people that share a common interest to initiate conversations with one another. While you may not meet these individuals in person, they can still serve as a great resource and stepping stone into a larger network. I find myself using Twitter frequently to keep an eye out for networking events that appeal to my interests in public relations. Although it may be daunting at first, maintaining an online presence is worth the extra effort to get ahead in the networking game.
Regardless of your passion, do not be afraid to get out there and meet people. Utilize the right resources and you’ll have plenty of events to attend and people to meet. Don’t forget the social networking applications– they are a great place to discover like-minded individuals and to stay in touch with those contacts you’ve already made. Now you have the knowledge, hit the road and start networking!
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