Whether you are embarking on a new chapter in life, polishing up your CV or just hoping to expand your contacts book, getting out and about and meeting new people is always helpful. The idea of networking, in the 1980s power suit sense of the word leaves us cold, but there are lots of modern and fresh ways to connect with people who could be useful in your career and fun in your life.
Meeting people who have ‘been there and done that’ is invaluable in almost anything you do. Speaking to women who have had success in an area you are interested in, or conversely sharing your experience with someone who is just starting out is incredibly rewarding. That is why we love Mentor Matcher, a site that links up over 60 female experts and entrepreneurs from the worlds of art, fashion and business, with Mentees who are keen to learn. Sign up to be a mentee or mentor now, or check out their next event.
You might not agree with everything she says but I am yet to meet a working mother who couldn’t identify with at least some of Sheryl Sandberg’s thinking in her cult book Lean In. This tome of modern-day feminism urges all women to ‘lean in’ to their careers and really take their seat at the table. Now you can meet up with a group of local, like-minded women who are doing just that. The circle movement is as massive as the book, with over 30,000 groups in over 150 countries. So the chances are there is one near you, or that relates to what you are looking for. From round table discussions to lunchtime meet ups, or even a virtual get together, you can expect a whole lot of support from your fellow Leaners In.
You don’t have to be a start-up whizz or a tech power player to have an interesting in networking. In fact, if you have almost any interest at all there will be a network for you! Meet Up is the truly inspiring new community app that allows you to tap in to like-minded groups in your area. From photography to food, and pets to crafts, you will be able to find a whole new team of chums who like what you like. Like internet dating for hobbies and without the awkward silence, what is not to love?
A great way to meet new and interning people is to attend an event or conference. You are bound to sit next to someone interesting, there are often break out sessions aimed at getting the delegates talking, and of course you can always strike up conversation over coffee. We LOVE the sound of the Festival of Doers, an inspirational day on January 27th, celebrating women who want to do amazing things. The speakers line up is stellar, including Happiness Coach Susanna Halonen and Digital Mums Co-founder Kathryn Tyler – so much food for thought and chat!
You might not realise it, but you have the most amazing networking tool kicking about in your handbag, or on your desk at work. Access to social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram is potentially the easiest and most immediate form of networking we have these days. Sharing images and comments with targeted hashtags, entering relevant conversations or even contacting people directly is a great way to share your views, learn about others and get your voice heard.