I hope you all got to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend.
Today I want to touch on a topic we know is super important but may also be super intimidating to many of us: networking. As we spoke of at our last meetup, attending our group is many of your first step to networking more, since you know how important it is. And to be honest, that's in part why Kat and I started the group too: to make it easier for us to network with others going through what we are.
I had the opportunity to listen to Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World, speak at a Women's Media Group event. (You can read my brief review of her book here.)
Kelly started out as a lawyer, then moved over to the training/development side of the business, where she had to become a networking guru to reconnect with alumni of her company. She became involved with a women's networking group that was then called 85Broads (it's now called Ellevate), ended up becoming their president, and then moved on from there to becoming a startup investor and accelerator founder. Each of her moves was done with the help of her network and via targeted outreach.
The six major takeaways I took from Kelly's talk and book are:
- Networking should be targeted to be effective—know why you are attending any event and/or reaching out to any person so you can help them help you;
- Every interaction we do is networking—all our social media, our email signature, our voice mail message, and any time we connect or respond to someone;
- If you don't have a personal email signature (which I didn't until after listening to her speak), then create one now;
- Always follow-through on any new connection you make, and this does not mean just the day after, but a few week's later too so that you're top of mind;
- It's no longer about who you know but who knows what you know, so make sure you get content and ideas out there;
- Don't wait until you need a job to network—always be connecting and paying forward.
Kelly was really inspirational, as was her book, and her lessons are really timely given our career change journeys. So let's think of ways we can be more thoughtful in our networking and targeted in our outreach, and how we can help each other as well.
Until next time,