A record crowd showed up at 7 a.m. last Thursday for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. Nearly 2,000 attended the Executives’ Club luncheon in the same ballroom that afternoon. A group of PR professionals holds frequent networking events under the Facebook handle of Chicago PR-TY. Many organizations, including PRSA, organize networking groups of young professionals.
During each of these events, hundreds of business cards are exchanged and potential future business relationships are established.
My advice: Begin networking early in your job search and career. And continue doing it throughout your professional career. Too often, I have witnessed people become so thoroughly engaged in their jobs that they avoid any “outside contact” or relationship building. When their jobs are in jeopardy, they must start from scratch to establish a professional network.
Valuable networking tips are provided through an helpful site called Career Networking 101. You can get the low down on the Three Deadly Sins of Career Networking:
1. Waiting until you need a job to begin networking
2. Developing an “all about me” mindset
3. Expecting others to do your networking for you
Career Networking 101 provides a free lesson plan that consists of the following topics:
- Online networking
- Structured groups
- Networking for the shy
- Managing the network
- Working the room