A CHICA’S GUIDE TO NETWORKING: THE DO’S AND “OH GIRL, PLEASE DON’TS” OF NETWORKING
When I decided to move to Los Angeles, I did so to discover my calling. At the time, my business idea was just that– an idea– but I knew that if my business was to ever get off the ground, L.A. was where I needed to be. In order to figure out what L.A. had to offer, this chica needed to surround herself with intelligent, powerful, influential, funny (’cause I’ve got jokes) and confident women. I NEEDED to surround myself with those whom I aspired to be like.
Weeks before I even made the final decision to move, I made it a point to get in contact with different organizations in L.A., and even made several trips up to attend a few networks. I knew I needed to make connections if I wanted L.A. to open its doors for me. I needed to be open, vulnerable, professional, and most importantly, ACTIVE in my pursuit to connect. After all, starting a new life was NOT going to be easy.
Since my move, I’ve been to tons of networking events and have made some incredible connections. I’ll often get asked, “how do you get the guts to go to networking events?” and “how do you do it ALONE?” Most women say that other women are unfriendly and unwelcoming, and they become intimidated by it.
I’ve certainly seen my share of that too. Once, I showed up to a networking event alone, so I made it a point to walk up to a circle of women. As I’m walking up to them they see me, I see them, and they decide to close the circle they were in and give me their backs. I wasn’t happy about it, but it didn’t faze me. I was there for a reason; I had a goal, to meet people that would be willing to work with me. If they didn’t, then on to the next I went.
When things like this happen you can’t take it personally. I look at things like these as a blessing, as it’s a sign that those women are certainly NOT the type of women I want to be surrounded by. So its almost like they did me a favor.
This can certainly be the case in some instances but in others we have to look at ourselves and our own actions as to why we are not networking successfully. There are plenty of do’s and plenty of oh-girl-please-don’ts.
Here’s a list to always keep handy…