Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Networking: Post Season

David Haas is a long-time Marriott veteran and currently the Destination Sales Executive for Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. As the former Board Associate for IACC, David still plays an active role on the Emerging Trends Committee. Enjoy this article about networking, a pastime that David is very talented at...
Congratulations! You made it!! -Fresh out of the holiday season.

Do you feel well-rested? Are you ready for the New Year and a new challenge? This year, have you asked yourself, “How do I get better at networking?”

 According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. We are talking good, old-fashion conversations with older and more experienced executives. These folks are able to help you get noticed. The baby boomers are not the enemy, and most times willing to help.

As we roll on by the holiday season a majority of companies host training courses, corporate kick-offs and strategy meetings. Our conference centers host these events, and they are likely never second nature to you. Now think about what happens when you are the guest.
Here are (7) tips to work a room:

  • If your boss is a company veteran, get them on a topic about an old holiday party. That “back in my day” nostalgia can pay off later.
  • Don’t leave early! If a training class ends 45 minutes early talk a few colleagues into a cocktail. You were planning on being there anyway; use the time to grow a connection, hopefully more than one.
  • Avoid negativity at all costs. A bad comment about a colleague could offend someone in the group. You could lose allies without knowing it. 
  • Avoid pointing out the sleeping person if their boss is present. If the boss is not there, it is free game and highly amusing!
  • Go to a business after-hours event at your Chamber or local business association. In an environment created for networking, watching veterans is the best training.
  • Keep an almost empty drink in your hand as long as you can. You leave an opening for a person to refill that glass. You also give yourself an out to do the same.
  • Be interested, not interesting.

Finally, it is most important to be a strong performer in your current role. If you are not producing, networking is not the answer to next job. This is all made possible by making your goals!

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