Networking and meeting new people can happen anytime, anywhere. However, if you are looking for ideas for where to network, these will help you understand that networking happens everywhere (even virtually).
Where to Network
If you are ready, willing and able to start networking more, but want to know where to network, these are places you can start.
Attending events or group meetings is a typical way to network, but have a plan if you go!
And remember, you want to build a network BEFORE you need it. It’s never too soon to start.
Networking In A Group Format
Attending events with lots of people can feel intimidating, especially if you are an introvert. But, these group meetings can be helpful when used strategically. I recommend finding someone to go with you or plan to meet someone you know there to eliminate some of your anxiety.
- Job seeker networking groups
- Chamber of Commerce meetings
- Trade shows
- Professional association events
- Board membership
- Fundraising events
- Enroll in training or classes
- Affinity groups
- Veteran groups or organizations
Networking with one person at a time can feel less intimidating, as long as you are prepared for your meeting. (Here is how to prepare for a networking meeting.)
- Schedule a follow-up meeting with people you’ve recently met
- Reconnect with past colleagues
- Build an advisory board or find a mentor
Search for alumni (either using LinkedIn’s alumni tool or through the school’s alumni database)
- Relevant groups on LinkedIn
- Relevant groups on Facebook
- User groups
- Twitter Chats
- Virtual networking events
- Online classes
Blend Personal With Professional
- Family reunions or get-togethers
- Friend get-away
- Attend sporting events
- Participate in sports or activities
- Host a holiday celebration
There are thousands more ideas, I’m sure. I hope these get you started and you now know where to network for your next opportunity!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.