The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

April 07, 2015

Where to Build an Authentic, Real-Life Professional Network

Professional-Network
“I love professional networking!” said (probably) no one ever. Sure, cultivating a strong, dependable circle of contacts in your field or industry isn’t exactly the most appealing way to spend your free time. But it’s certainly one of the most important, regardless of your need or intention to secure new employment.

Skeptical? Then you’re likely not familiar with the best venues for modern, effective professional networking. Perhaps you perceive networking as an activity housed in either a crowded, dimly lit bar full of unfriendly strangers, or in your LinkedIn outbox of generic messages. These are poor approaches that do little to fight the misconception that networking is pointless, desperate, boring or sleazy.

So where should you go instead? Here are five great ideas:

Join a reputable professional association and attend its events.

“Professional organizations provide a convenient, completely non-awkward reason and opportunity to connect. If you participate even minimally in your organization, you’d have a hard time not meeting at least one other person.” via The Muse

Meet people via Meetup.com.

“In large and diverse communities, there are plenty of resources and opportunities to network. Sometimes, however, they are hard to find. Swarming in the sea of printed publications are events, meetings, job fairs, and social opportunities. None of them are centralized. Meetup.com offers groups to maintain regular contact with interested parties to attend events” via Examiner

Volunteer with a cause about which you’re passionate.

“Once you know it could be a good fit [in a nonprofit organization], ask the leadership how you can get involved or if there are committees you can join. Committees are a great way to get to know the people in the organization and develop strong relationships.” via Going Concern

Join a sports league or club.

“It’s easier for some people to connect with others while in a team setting. This is a fun way to meet new people, play new sports, and learn how to work on a team.”  via Careerealism

Enroll in a class to learn a new skill.

“It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests and will provide you with something to start a conversation about. Not only that, but it allows you to have a regular meeting time and place.” via After College

Add Your Comment

Name:
Email:
Comments:

Remember me?

Shoot me an email when someone responds?

Enter this word:

Here: