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  • Stephanie D. Loughner

Networking – How to Make the Most of It

Networking pays off when you are selective and intentional. This means finding events and groups that will offer up the most opportunity. Over the past 20 years, my career has always included networking and I have learned a lot along the way. Here are four

ways I approach networking and how it pays off. First, I let people I find interesting know I enjoy networking and being invited to events. This means I might say yes just to see if the event suits me and what I am looking for at the time. It does take some experimenting to find a good fit. Second, I do not overcommit. I have learned to hold an event on my schedule when I become aware of the event but do not always register or commit until I know closer to the event that family or work commitments have cleared and will not require me to cancel at the last minute. I strive to be a responsible attendee my colleagues and friends can count on for showing up. Third, I look for opportunities with smaller groups or intimate settings. This allows for 1:1 conversations and getting to know others. I have found large events require a lot more work to engage and get to know others. Lastly, it is important to follow-up in some way. If am specifically invited by an individual, I make a point to follow-up and say thank you. In other cases I will link with those I met on LinkedIn so I can learn more about them and how we might be able to connect in the future.

Networking takes time and you can gain a lot of resources when you are looking for clients, looking to help out a friend or yourself in new adventures. Networking has allowed me to build a community of strong professionals who I admire, learn from and enjoy seeing.



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