Are you also dreading the approaching New Year's receptions and meetings? Or will you make good use of the occasion by improving and expanding your network?
Parties are the ideal moment to meet people in an informal setting. A perfect opportunity to grab your drink and approach colleagues you have not yet been acquainted with. The ideal moment to get to know your boss in a different way, or a chance to improve your networking skills.
One thing is certain: you can either let this partying-period pass you by, or you can use it to your advantage. If you do the latter, you create opportunities for your future. How do you do this? Networking in 3 simple steps.
BEFOREHAND: Give yourself an objective
For example: I will at least meet 1 new colleague, talk to 1 manager and thank 1 person who has done a lot for me this past year. You should also know beforehand what you want to tell about yourself. Think well about these questions:
- What is it exactly that I do? What does my job title really mean?
- What do I want to do more and more often in the future in my career?
STEP 1: Take control of the bottle
A good way to make contact: pouring everyone a drink with the bottle. This gives you the opportunity to come with an easy way to talk to everyone. What's more, now everyone has seen you. An extra asset is that it shows that you're helpful.
Definitely make eye-contact. When an interesting conversation starts somewhere, you can either stay where you are, but you can also ask to be excused and resume the conversation after you're done pouring. Meanwhile, you have checked who is standing where and you'll know what themes people are talking about.
STEP 2: Connect
Use the occasion well to make a good connection. We generally tend to like people who listen and genuinely show an interest in what we do. Winning that sympathy is the foundation of networking. We work on our 'goodwill factor'.
By listening well, you can also get your conversation partner to introduce you to someone else ("Look, Femke, this is Seppe, who is not only great at bookkeeping but also owns a catering company together with his wife.") Good networkers are generous: a compliment, useful information, a good introduction to an interesting contact, getting people together.
STEP 3: After-care
Leave all of that superficial glitter and glamour behind. You should also fulfill your promises later: supply the requested info, let them know you liked the conversation and make sure you connect on LinkedIn. The only thing about the party which should be temporary is the alcohol. A small word of advice before you dive into the crowd: Big Brother is watching you. On every event, pictures may be taken and shared immediately on social media. This can be an advantage because you are seen and will gain more charisma. But be ever watchful and mind your reputation.
Well now: with these tips, you will undoubtedly make an impression on the next party. People will definitely remember you in a positive way and will add to the further development of your network.