Networking Tips for Recent Graduates

networking tipsGraduates of 2015 have been out of school for a couple of months now, and some of them are still struggling to find employment. If this sounds like you, it might be time to consider networking to help you.

Networking is just another word for meeting people. It involves introducing yourself, listening to someone else, and then engaging with that person to see if you can work with him/her.

Networking can further your career, but you have to do it right. The good news is that you’re just getting started, so you aren’t quite set in your networking ways. Keep these tips in mind as you start networking.

Be Interested in Others

As much as you want to let people know what your skills are, you need to listen to what others are doing. This is how you can connect with them. When they talk about working on a project that you have experience in, you can then chime in on how you can help and why you’re the best person for it.

Offer to Help

It’s not about you finding a career (as much as you want to), it’s about what you can do to help people. When you change your mission to helping rather than getting, you’ll start to see how much more people want to help you in return with maybe a job.

Do Not Lie

It’s tempting to lie because you want a job, but don’t do it under any circumstances. Lies may come back to haunt you later, or you could be caught in a lie, which could ruin your reputation.

You are talented. You have skilled. You have knowledge. Just be you and let people know why you are valuable.

Don’t Be Afraid to Meet People

When you’re at a networking event, don’t hide in the corner. Walk out into the crowd and introduce yourself. It’s not weird to do that because that’s what networking is all about. Just extend your hand for a handshake and say hello with a smile. From there, you can ask questions, listen, and if someone asks you, answer his/her questions. Step back, relax, and just be friendly.

You can practice your networking skills by setting up a HuddleDo. Simply create an account, select a few people for a Huddle, and then meet those that accept at the location you have indicated on the Huddle form.

Start networking today with HuddleDo. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro AND you’ll have a job.

5 of the Best LA Bars for Networking

best LA bars for networkingAs much as you may not think that bars aren’t the ideal places to network, they can be a hidden gem for meeting influencers, especially in LA. This little clue comes from those interested in getting into the film or music industry, but entrepreneurs can also find great connections in them.

The key is to start people watching to find out who the movers and shakers are at the place. Once you know who they are, you can nonchalantly introduce yourself. Since these are bar/restaurant environment, it’s not odd to casually say hello. Just keep it brief and say something short and sweet to spark their interest before moving on to your table or someone else.

The Ivy

The first place to try out networking is The Ivy. It’s a popular hangout for celebrities, so that means their agents and assistants are there too. Those are the people you should be more interested in spotting, so you can expand your network of connections.

The Polo Lounge

This is popular place for networking and celebrity watching. The tourists probably won’t benefit you, so don’t plan on going during the weekends. Instead, head over there around breakfast because that’s when the professionals are looking to make a deal.

Ammo

It’s a common business meeting spot. You can have lunch there, but if you’re looking to mingle, it’s best to sit at the bar with a cocktail. That’s where people wait for a table, so it’s the best time to introduce yourself.

Laurel Tavern

This spot in Studio City attracts TV industry people. It has a casual atmosphere that makes meeting people next to you easy. Consider going during happy hour for deals on drinks.

The Grill on the Alley

Bring your game face on when you try The Grill on the Alley. It’s one of the best places for business lunches and networking events. On any given day or night, you may end up meeting several people you’ll love to add to your contacts.

Start a Huddle Now

Did you know that on HuddleDo, you can start a Huddle to meet with people at one of these bars? All you have to do is invite some members of HuddleDo to one of the above locations, and once you have some people who accept, you just have to show up. Right away, you’ll have a great place to network with people who are in the same industry. Give HuddleDo a try right now to see how beneficial it could be to expanding your network of connections.

Using Empowerment for Networking

networkingThroughout the HuddleDo Blog, you’ve learned that you must give to receive. This means that even though the goal of networking is to help grow your business, you need to help others before you’ll be able to see any growth. There are some entrepreneurs that have used this philosophy while networking and it’s helped them greatly.

Fast Company recently published an article about Superconnectors and the first few people were “The Empowerers.”

Ingrid Vanderveldt

Ingrid Vanderveldt is an “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” for Dell. She helps women become business owners. She does this by mentoring them and helping them with tools that can be useful for starting and growing their businesses. As you can see, she empowers these women, and as a representative with Dell, she ends up benefiting as well.

Linda Rottenberg

Rottenberg is the CEO if Endeavor Global and she has helped struggling entrepreneurs find “social capital.” She’s hooked them up with executives, which have provided more than 50,000+ hours. Again, she has empowered these entrepreneurs and she has built quite a name for herself because of it.

Liz Dow

Dow is the CEO for Leadership Philadelphia. Her entire business is built on doing favors for people. She believes that earning a reputation for being generous is the best thing you can do for your business.

How You Can Be a Giver When Networking

If you want to follow in the footsteps of these great entrepreneurs, you’ll have to meet people and learn what their needs are. You can do that with networking events or with a Huddle. When you meet people, ask them questions about their projects. Genuinely care about what they are doing. When they are talking, offer help when it seems as though they need it. For example, when the person you’re speaking to says, “It’s all going great, except I wish I knew how to…” That’s a great opportunity to say, “Oh, I could teach you that.” or “I know the perfect person to help you. Let me connect you with him/her.” You can give by doing or connecting. Either way, you are going something for the person and that will be appreciated.

Don’t ever expect to be reimbursed for it. That will discourage you greatly. Appreciate the feeling you get from giving, and hold on to that. Anything that comes later is just bonus.

Give empowerment a try the next time you are networking. Instead of waiting for a networking event, consider scheduling a Huddle right here on HuddleDo. It’s the perfect way to meet people in your area you can collaborate with and help people with your skills and knowledge.

Sweatworking: Is It the New Networking?

sweatworkingFast Company recently published an article by Susan Johnston about sweatworking. It’s a new way to network that has gained popularity lately because of healthier lifestyle trends.

According to the article, sweatworking is the act of meeting colleagues and clients while exercising. Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99designs says, “It gets the creative juices flowing when we get outside the office and build that camaraderie.”

People have started to meet at the gym or outside for a walk or run. They may play tennis together or go surfing. The number of options are endless. All it needs to be is something everyone enjoys.

People have been playing golf for years to get outside of the boardroom to discuss business. Sweatworking is a bit different, though. It involves activities that are more physical. They get your heart pumping and blood moving through the veins faster.

What’s great about this way to network is that people release endorphins when they are exercising. These feel good chemicals in the brain can affect the way people think and act. Since these endorphins often lead to feelings of positivity, that may end up leading to great business deals.

Just be careful because too much activity could end up ruining any progress. When the activity becomes too laborious, no one will be able to think clearly enough to do business. This could end up leading to additional meetings, which could be intercepted by other opportunities that take away any potential deals you may have had with them.

Good Sweatworking Ideas for a Successful Meeting

The following options can help you find the right amount of physical activity to have a successful business meeting.

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing racquetball
  • Lifting weights
  • Playing basketball
  • Golfing
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Kickboxing
  • Yoga
  • Surfing

As you can see, many of these activities enable you to sweat next to your colleagues and clients. As you’re playing or working out, you can speak with them to ask about their thoughts on services, products or processes. As long as you and the people you are sweatworking with can recover quickly, you’ll find that the activity can be highly beneficial to achieving your goals.

Try this new way to network! Not only will you be meeting new people you might be able to collaborate with, but you’ll be getting some exercise too.

Not sure who you can sweatwork with? Start a Huddle. On HuddleDo, we have people in your local area who are interested in your business. All you have to do is look through the profiles on our site and then choose a few to set up a Huddle. You pick where to meet, so using a Huddle for sweatworking is perfect. Try it now to see how well it works for you!

Wise Words from Red Lobster President Salli Setta

networkingSalli Setta, the president of Red Lobster, spoke to Business Insider about the use of networking for businesses. Setta shares what she believes is the biggest mistake people make with networking.

Most people believe networking is just used to advance a career. These same people think networking is boring and pointless.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Setta has found a new way to look at networking that can help people use it more effectively for their personal and professional growth.

“It’s about trying to open up your eyes to the possibilities of what’s around you.”

It’s not about growing your business. It’s about growing you. When you network with people, you will gain knowledge from them. You will learn how to do things differently and better than you were doing before, and then you can use that to grow your business. What’s important to focus on is that you are first using networking to improve yourself and then it’s you that is growing your business.

This is what makes networking fun. When you’re sharing information with people, you are working with them. They are asking you questions and they are asking you questions. It’s just like sitting down with some friends sharing your experiences and opening yourself up to them while they open up to you. The difference is that you’re doing this in a professional capacity.

Not only is this way of networking fun, but it takes away the awkwardness of it. When you are networking with people who don’t know as much as you do about your work and you don’t know about theirs, you are all on an even playing field. You don’t have to feel intimidated or feel as though you have to impress anyone. You know what you know and they know what they know, and everyone wants to learn.

How to Use Setta’s Advice

Jump back into networking with a new frame of mind. Meet people to learn about them, and they will likely want to learn from you. You can start right away by setting up a Huddle on HuddleDo. Just choose a few people from your local area and when three people have accepted, you’ll be ready for a Huddle at the location you’ve indicated. All you have to do is show up and get ready to chat.

With Setta’s way of networking, there is no pressure. You do not have to sell your business, services, or products. You’re just there to soak up some knowledge that you can then use to benefit your business. If a sale or partnership comes out of it, then that’s just another bonus.

Happy Huddling!

Network as a Pro Right Out of College

networkSince you’ve just graduated, you’re probably still new to the world of networking. Don’t worry; we all have to start somewhere. The following are some tips you can use to use networking to get a job that will give you a great start on your career path.

Start Attending Events

The Internet is a valuable source of information about networking events in your area. Just do a Google search on networking events in a city near you, and then find out how to attend.

Don’t be afraid to travel to networking events, especially if you are not against relocating for a good job. The farther you reach, the higher the chance you’ll find a job you will love.

Connect with People at the Event and Outside of It

When you go to a networking event, don’t stand in the corner the entire time. You will be wasting your time. Step out into the event and start shaking some hands. You can simply say, “Hello…” You can then start with, “Have you ever attended networking events here before or one hosted by this organization?”

In the course of conversations, be sure to get people’s contact information. A business card works or even a phone number so you can exchange texts on how to follow each other social media.

When you get back to your office or home, look for the people you met at the networking event online. Follow them on social media and in a couple of days, reach out to them. You may even want to send an email and start it with this:

Hi Bob,

My name is Sandy Beach, and we met last night at the UCLA alumni mixer at the Hilton.

You can then request a meeting and end the email with “Best” or “Regards.”

Start a Huddle

It’s likely after you go to your first networking event you’ll start to get a better feel for how you should work them. Keep going to them to get better at speaking comfortably in front of people who may be interested in hiring you.

It can also be useful to start a Huddle. By using HuddleDo, you can connect with influencers in LA or your local area to meet up for coffee or lunch. The Huddlers you invite will accept if they are available and then all you have to do is show up.

Huddles are more intimate because it’s only you and two or three other people. This way you can all find out more about each other and really find out how everyone can benefit from each other’s skills and knowledge. Usually, the people you connect with through a Huddle will have other connections that could end up leading you right into the post-graduate job of your dreams.

Get started with a Huddle right here on HuddleDo!

What Women Need in a Networking Group

networking groupThe Huffington Post published an article recently on what women truly need in networking. From the author’s perspective, most women do not benefit from networking as much as they should. It’s not that they don’t feel as though they do because they certainly feel that the networking group provides inspiration and knowledge. There’s so much more that women can get from networking, though. The author identifies what that is in the article.

  • Coming Up with Solutions

The author discusses how many of the women would gripe about the challenges they have faced. While complaining can be a great way to vent, it doesn’t solve any problems. What the networking group should do is try to come up with solutions to problems, rather than just sharing problems.

  • Being More Specific

Women can have difficulty asking for what they really want. This leads to problems in a networking group because women walk away with absolutely nothing. Women should start to express what they want, so the other members can help.

  • Practical Support Is Better

Providing emotional support will help women feel better, but it won’t help them do anything about their situation. Practical support offers tips to women, so they can go back to their situation with a plan. It’s the plan that makes the networking group truly beneficial.

These tips on what women really need in a networking group are great, but there needs to be balance. Women operate differently from men. While men go into networking looking for something and wanting action, women are more social. They want to connect with women not only on a business level, but on an emotional one as well. This is why many of them feel that a networking group is beneficial even if they leave with nothing more than a clear mind from the venting and emotional support.

It might be better to include practical support with emotional support, so women truly feel as though they are being helped. Maybe instead of voicing what they need, they may feel better about asking others what they need. By giving, many women often feel better about asking. When a problem presents itself, women can come up with a plan along with providing the listening ear and shoulder to lean on that they are naturally made to do.

If you keep all of this in mind as you set up a HuddleDo networking group, you’ll end up finding that the meeting will be much more pleasurable for you. Get started today with a Huddle at your favorite coffee shop!

Words You Should Never Say When You’re Networking

Have you ever said something and then wish you could take those words back? Don’t worry; we’ve all done it. To make sure you don’t end up doing it over and over again, study the following words you should never say when you’re networking.

Hate

Don’t hate anything or anyone. Hate is a strong word, and many people get a negative feeling when they hear it. If you want to have a positive impression on someone, avoid saying the word hate at all costs. Even if the other person says he or she hates something or someone, it doesn’t make it okay for you to follow along.  Just pay attention to how you feel when that person says that word. It’s not good…

No

When say no, you are cutting someone off. It may not appear that way, but the other person may feel that way and it’s not a good way to feel. If you’re not sure you can do something the other person is requesting, simply say that you will get back to that person or you might be able to do it. A possibility is better than saying no and it’s not saying yes, so that you end up being a liar.

Experience

Experience comes from what you have done. Instead of saying you have experience in something, talk about that experience. Discuss the projects you’ve done and what you’ve learned from them. The person you’re speaking with will understand that you have experience just by you telling him what you’ve done.

Motivated

Just like experience, people want to know how you are motivated not that you are motivated. When you discuss what you’ve done and how you did it, they will be able to see that you are motivated individual. Hint: The same goes for the word hard-working.

Uh

Don’t say uh. While you’re at it, don’t say um. You are intelligent and while your anxiety may make you say uh and um, try your hardest not to do it. Speak slower than you usually do, so you can speak with confidence without disruption with these filler words.

Amazing

Fluffy words to express how great something is will not show off your intellect. You don’t need to tell someone how amazing something is – describe what it is and allow that person to come to the conclusion that it is amazing.

Keep these words in mind as you are heading to your next networking event. It might take some practice to stop saying them, but once you get used to avoiding them it will be easy.

Practice staying away from these words with a Huddle! You can start a Huddle right here on HuddleDo to meet new people you can collaborate with on projects. Get started today!

Take the Work Out of Networking

networking eventLast week, Sean Kim, contributor for Entrepreneur.com published an article on how to improve networking skills. The article identifies ways we can make networking much more successful. One of them is changing your mindset, and we agree with it wholeheartedly.

Change Your Mind…Change Your Approach…Change Your Results

Your perception of networking can affect its effectiveness in making worthwhile connections. If you see a networking event as a chance for you to advertise your business to people repeatedly, you’ll likely leave with people not wanting to see or hear from you again. However, if you see it as a chance to meet new people you can connect with later to discuss business and other pastimes, you’ll end up with many more opportunities.

Why does it matter how you think about networking? Because it affects how you approach it.

Before we go any further, throw the word “work” out of networking. People don’t want to feel like they are working when they are at a networking event. It’s the best part of being in the business world. You get to have fun meeting different people who have similar interests. When you treat it as though it’s just another work thing you have to do, you suck all of the fun out of it.

Think of networking as recess for your career. Just like in school when you worked at your desk or listened to the teacher lecture, you would have time for recess. While you were still with your classmates, it was a time to have fun and connect with them in a different way. What’s surprising to most people is that learning is still going on even though the environment has changed.

How to Change for Your Next Networking Event

The next time you go to a networking event, think about it as professional recess time. It doesn’t mean you can let loose to the point of being unprofessional, but it does mean you can loosen up a little and genuinely care about meeting people who are in the same industry as you. It’s an opportunity to put all of the formalities aside, and connect with people in a new, refreshing way that could lead to something much bigger for the both of you.

Give It a Try with a Huddle

You don’t have to wait until another networking event; you can set up a meeting on HuddleDo!  There are many professionals in your area that are looking to connect with you. Simply set up a Huddle, invite people to meet you, and show up at the place you’ve chosen. Once you get there, use your new networking skills. You’ll likely see people will be much more willing to meet with you again.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think about this post. Do you believe that changing your mindset may help you have better networking experiences?

 

Networking for Better Health

networking for better healthMost people would never think networking would affect their health, but it does. If you look at it from a different perspective, you’ll soon see that by networking, you could improve not only your mental, but your physical health too.

How It Improves Your Mental Health

When you network, you put yourself in front of people who are positive. They want to grow their business and they are looking to you for help with that. This is quite an honor because people will only want to work with you if you have great ideas and skills. You are valuable to them.

When you’re able to work with new people, you open yourself up to new opportunities. This is exciting! You may find yourself in a new place in a very short time. That can lead you to achieve new and old goals that you never thought you would. This can lift many people out of the funk they’ve been feeling.

Physical Health Booster

Networking helps your physical health as well. When you feel better about your business and life in general, you are more likely to feel better physically. This is usually because you are more likely to take better care of yourself. You may sleep better because you’re not depressed or anxious. You may eat better because you want to continue to have the energy you need to move forward. Eating well and getting adequate sleep will boost your immune system to keep viruses away from you.

Some people may argue that while you may be taking better care of yourself, meeting so many new people opens you up to many viruses. This is true, but the body is an amazing machine. The better you care for yourself, the stronger your body becomes at fighting illnesses. With a flu shot, plenty of fluids and the use of hand sanitizer, you’ll likely see that the risk of becoming ill from networking isn’t that great.

Start Networking for Better Health

As you’re thinking about networking more, hopefully the mental and physical health benefits will encourage you to take that next step. While you are thinking about it, why not sign up for a Huddle? It’s a really easy way to meet people who are in your area. It’s also a great way to grow your business and get all of those healthy benefits mentioned here.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net