Networking is all about building relationships based on reciprocity. For young people entering the working world and navigating its various challenges, networking is a smart way to make career connections.
We have some top networking ideas for young professionals that are sure to propel you closer toward your business goals.
Best Networking Ideas For Young Professionals
Take Advantage of LinkedIn
When connecting, send a message and mention a common interest — clubs, field, place of education, workplace, major or hobby. Once connected, request a coffee meeting or a 15-20 minute informal interview (either in person or over the phone). In the discussion, ask questions such as: “What’s a typical day like in your role? What do you enjoy about working at your company? Do you face any challenges? What advice do you have for someone looking to pursue a career in your field?” LinkedIn is the perfect place to start building a strong network.
Visit Career Fairs
Even if you’re not actively looking for a new role, it’s important to keep building connections. This is one of the top networking ideas for young professionals, because it allows you to meet a variety of other professionals. Our BestCompaniesAZ Career Events are the perfect place to meet representatives from some of the best employers in Arizona to learn about their cultures and what openings they have. You’ll get firsthand insight into what it’s like to work there. Don’t forget to bring plenty of copies of your resume.
Through applications or sites such as Meetup, you can join groups specifically comprised of young professionals in your area. Whether it’s a coffee get-together or a bowling night, you can find (or even start) a group of other like-minded professionals.
Visit Workshops And Join Organizations
Rather than the occasional meetup, consider joining an organization that holds regular meetings to discuss topics in your field. You can even discover workshops offering learning opportunities in your field.
Attend A Conference
Sign up for a conference in your line of work. Perhaps you’re looking to meet other professionals looking for expertise, or hear insight from leaders in your industry. Either way, you’ll emerge from the conference with new knowledge and new connections. Bring business cards with you, and don’t be afraid to strike up a few conversations.
General Networking Ideas For Young Professionals
- Try to cast a wide net when it comes to making new connections. Aside from LinkedIn connections in your field, take some different routes. Have you considered getting in touch with community leaders, former teachers and professors, or even your friends’ parents? Do you have extended family members who can provide helpful connections?
- Always stay proactive. Rather than waiting for your phone to ring, try calling brand-new contacts and leave the ball in their court. Don’t pester your new connections — but leave a short voicemail to get the ball rolling.
- Follow experts in your field.
- Remain polished. Aside from dressing nicely in meetings with new connections and at networking events, maintain a positive, clean reputation for yourself. Double-check your social media presence. Don’t toss back too many drinks at a business mixer. Be polite and enthusiastic at long, perhaps drawn-out conferences. Proofread every single email and LinkedIn message you send out.
- Say “yes” more often, because your networking opportunities can only expand this way.
- Ask lots of questions. Aside from getting what you want out of a new connection, it’s also important to foster a meaningful relationship. To create a more comfortable environment for the new people in your professional circle, ask them questions about themselves — not just work. Stay curious, because it will take you far.
- Follow people you admire in your field — on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, on their blogs, and so forth.