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The BEST Networking Tips You'll Ever Need

Networking can feel intimidating, especially if you're starting out. But don't worry -- these networking tips will help you navigate this skill with confidence!

Did you know that 85% of jobs are filled through networking? Whether you're in sales, business, tech, the creative field, or any other industry, knowing the right people can skyrocket your career and personal growth.

Why is Networking Essential?

Networking opens doors to opportunities you might not find on your own. It's more than just a job search tool—it's about:

  • Building a Support System: As a BIPOC woman, connecting with professionals who get you and understand your experiences can provide invaluable support and guidance.

  • Gaining Recognition: Building your reputation within your industry can lead to exciting opportunities, collaborations, and the recognition you deserve.

  • Accessing Information and Resources: Learning from the experiences and insights of others can help you make informed decisions, avoid costly mistakes, and accelerate your career trajectory.

  • Creating Lasting Relationships:  Authentic connections can blossom into lifelong friendships, mentorships, and a network that will empower you for years to come.

Essential Networking Skills

1. Set Clear Goals (But Stay Open to Possibilities)

Before attending an event or reaching out to someone, ask yourself:

  • What are your primary goals? Are you primarily seeking a mentor, exploring job prospects, or seeking knowledge in a specific area?

  • What sparks your curiosity? What topics or industries genuinely interest you? What questions would you love to have answered?

Knowing your purpose allows you to research, prepare talking points and approach interactions with confidence.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should only talk to people who seem directly aligned with your goals; in fact, we should try to get to know everyone in the room. We are connecting but not closing deals, after all. You never know whose hand you end up shaking!

2. Master the Art of Conversation: Go Beyond Small Talk

Ditch the "What do you do?" and spark genuine conversations.

  • Ask about their passions: "What project or idea are you most excited about right now?"

  • Be interested in their interests: "What do you enjoy doing outside of work?"

  • Understand their challenges: "What are some of the biggest obstacles you're facing in your field?"

By actively listening and asking thoughtful questions, you create space for meaningful connections to develop organically.

3. Ask: "How Can I Benefit Others Too?"

Networking is a two-way street. While it's important to ask for help when needed, it's equally important to offer your support and expertise to others. This generous spirit creates a foundation for mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Engage in Online Networking Opportunities

The digital world offers endless possibilities for connection.

  • Explore professional groups and communities on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

  • Participate in online discussions, share valuable insights, and connect with other professionals.

  • Attend virtual events and webinars hosted by organizations relevant to your field.

5. Nurture Your Connections

Building a network isn't a one-time event—it's an ongoing process.

  • Regularly check in:  Offer support, share resources, and celebrate your connections' successes.

  • Remember, every connection has potential: Even if someone doesn't seem like an immediate "prospect," they might have valuable connections or knowledge to share.

  • Focus on building genuine relationships: People are more likely to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Invest in genuine connections and prioritize building friendships as much as professional relationships.

Networking as a BIPOC Woman

As a BIPOC woman, building a strong and supportive network is crucial. Surround yourself with a diverse community of allies, mentors, and champions who understand your unique experiences and can uplift you on your journey.


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