Meeting people in your field of interest is the single most effective method of finding a job. Fortunately, networking is an invaluable tool that anyone in the business world can utilize. It is a great opportunity to market yourself and your business in a relaxed, social situation.
- Build a list of contacts. Attend meetings and social events to meet other professionals. Previous employers as well as any mentors you have had along the way are also a great asset to add to your networking list.
- Find common ground. Start a casual conversation about anything and see if you can find common ground.
- Take action. Make sure you have your "elevator speech" prepared to describe yourself and your goals if the opportunity presents itself.
- Ask. Ask for a business card! People order hundreds of these for a reason. It certainly can't hurt to ask for one.
- Follow up. Follow up with a brief email or card that solidifies your relationship.
- Keep in touch. Keeping in touch on a regular basis is crucial to networking and mainting your list of contacts.