To focus your networking towards the professional world, you can attend the happy hour of chambers of commerce, technology parks, professional groups, etc. Consult the websites of these organizations and little by little you will join the network. With business by referral a change can come up.
Some tips for networking
The right attitudes to adopt during a Happy Hour:
- Go to a networking activity with specific objectives: who would you like to meet? What topics would you like to learn about?
- Don’t be fooled if you don’t know anyone. You can spot another person alone and start a conversation with them.
- Learn to introduce yourself in ten seconds: who are you, what are you looking for, what are your main skills and achievements?
- Avoid digressions. Go to the essentials and above all know how to stop talking to listen to others.
- Take an interest in what your interlocutors are doing. You are not there to talk only about yourself, but to exchange. Ask them questions about their journey and listen carefully to their answers.
- Be professional, polite and cordial.
- Have your business cards handy not the bottom of your bag.
- Don’t just hand out your business card. Give it to the people with whom you had a reciprocal professional discussion.
- After 5 to 7, write on the exchanged business cards or on a file, the place where you met the person, what you talked about. In short, the elements of context.
The important thing is that you start from 5 to 7 having met resource people and having gathered information that will help you in your job search and in your career development.
The reciprocity of networking
Networking in Quebec is based on the principle of reciprocity, of “give and take”. Don’t hesitate to donate first; you’ll get some feedback one way or another. The network is not an address book from which you can draw according to your needs: it is based on exchange. To help you your interlocutors must find their account there and vice versa. The network works, small business and maintains itself: it is necessary to be present regularly and to have small attentions (congratulate a partner on a success, send an email of thanks, transmit information that you find interesting for him, etc.). The exchange is not necessarily based only on the professional: a partner put you in contact with a future client, but you have nothing to give him in exchange.You know, however, that he is looking for a music lesson for his son. That’s good because you know an excellent teacher: you send him the contact.