Haven’t Networked in a While? Here’s How to Jump Back In. - Deepstash
Haven’t Networked in a While? Here’s How to Jump Back In.

Haven’t Networked in a While? Here’s How to Jump Back In.

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Haven’t Networked in a While? Here’s How to Jump Back In.

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Restart Networking: In A Nutshell

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been cocooned, talking primarily to our existing colleagues and contacts. But for the sake of our long-term professional growth, it’s time to start meeting new people and rebuilding loose ties once again. We can make use of the following strategies for easing back into networking when we may feel rusty and out of practice: rebuild your dormant ties, ask a friend for connections, identify commonalities, choose targeted events to attend, and recruit a co-host when hosting your own event.

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Reintroduce One-On-One Connections

A good starting place to rebuild your networking muscles may be seeking out one-on-one connections. You can begin with colleagues or clients you may have connected with virtually during the pandemic, and with whom you’d like to deepen your relationship.

You can also create a list of dormant ties — people you haven’t seen or interacted with much during the past two years, with whom you’d like to refresh your relationship.

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Make Use Of Your Connector Friends

Ask a friend (especially one who you know is a good connector) for suggestions about people you ought to meet. See if they’d be open to making introductions or hosting a three-way coffee or video call to connect you. They’ll likely be glad to assist.

This is a great way to re-introduce yourself to the basics of networking — which, at its heart, is just getting to know interesting people more deeply.

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The Good Old Networking Events

Rapidly identify a commonality you share with the other person. Having something in common not only gives you something to talk about, but also conveys that you’re “one of them,” creating a pathway to build trust.

Coming out of a pandemic in which social contact was curtailed and strangers were feared as potential vectors of disease, it may be especially powerful to emphasize your similarities with new connections.

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Attending Targeted Events

One strategy that makes this easy is choosing targeted events to attend. Rather than going to a general networking mixer, for instance, you might make an effort to attend something sponsored by your alumni association.

You automatically have something in common with fellow attendees, so conversation is likely to flow more easily.

Additionally, the shared experience helps build a sense of familiarity faster, and you may find you have mutual connections already, further deepening the tie.

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Host Your Own Events

If you’re willing to take the lead on organizing an event, you can not only control the attendee list, but also structure the flow.

You might consider recruiting a co-host. Dividing responsibilities helps lighten the load. (You can invite three to four guests, and they can do the same.) It also ensures you have help in making the event run smoothly. (If you’re in the bathroom when the conversation lurches into controversial topics, your cohost can steer it back on track.) And of course, the primary benefit is that your co-host will be exposed to your network, and vice versa.

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The Bottom Line

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been cocooned, talking primarily to our existing colleagues and contacts. But for the sake of our long-term professional growth, it’s time to start meeting new people, and rebuilding loose ties, once again. As you ease back in and use these strategies, you’ll be well positioned to create and maintain lasting professional relationships.

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