Many of us will be attending networking events, some of the many breakfasts, lunches and dinners that are being held this week to mark and celebrate the occasion.
So I thought rather than talk about International Women's Day itself - as there will be plenty written by everyone I am sure - I'd make today's 5 Fast Tips blog (it is Tuesday after all) about net"working".
So why am I calling it net"working"?
Because when you go to these events, they really need to be approached with a "working" mindset. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy them or have fun. It does mean that you need to consciously prepare and think about what you are going to do.
Here are 5 Fast Tips for "networking":
1. Find out who is going to be at the event - before you go do a little bit of research and find out who will be there. If the event has been listed on LinkedIn or Facebook you can often see who has rsvp'd. If it's an event in your company - just ask around.
2. Identify if there is someone you want to meet - once you know who will be there - review if there is anyone you want to meet or connect up with. It might be someone you've met before that you just want to say "hello", to keep up your profile or someone you have dealt with by email and have never met in person. Or you may want to meet someone you really admire or wouldn't come across in your daily life.
3. Develop your introduction - when you know who you want to meet and who is going to be at the event, decide how you are going to introduce yourself. Your name is a good start, then add your company or department. Follow up with something like, "I'm working on...", "I work in...", "I've just started working on ..." - something that give others a really quick snapshot of what you do.
If it's someone you've met before, an extended hand, a smile and "Hi <their name>, <your name> (just in case they have forgotten), <your company/department>, good to see you again, how are you?" might be all that you need.
If it's someone you know quite well a "Good to see you here. How are you doing?" could be enough.
4. Position yourself - with the person you want to meet by adding in why you you wanted to meet them. Make it relevant and short. You could try something like "I just want to quickly introduce myself to let you know... / say hello / touch base / give you give you my contact details / ask ..."
Which leads to the final tip for today...
5. Ask questions - the simplest way to get a conversation going is to ask questions. It's a really effective way to communicate and the quality of your questions can reflect well on you. Prepare some questions that are either specific to the person you want to meet or general enough to ask anyone before you get to the event. That will help you feel more comfortable before you walk in the room when you know you have something to say!
The questions don't need to be exam level - just some conversations starters like, "What's your connection with...?", "How do you know
Whatever you do to celebrate International Women's Day - enjoy!
If you don't have anything formal planned - gather up a couple of chicks from the office and head out for a coffee (you can take some guys too). Not that we need it, but today's anniversary is a great excuse for some networking.
Happy International Women's Day
P.S. These tips are not just for today chicks ...if you have any tips or questions you use, please share them with the rest of the career chick chat community !!