Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 24

effectivenetworking

Strategies for Effective Business
Networking for Young Professionals
Jill Johnson

A

s young professionals, you hear all the time that
you must network to find internships, jobs and
mentoring relationships. Yet, many of you don't
know how to connect effectively with the business
executives who can help you advance professionally. Many of
these executives are willing to share insights, but few young
professionals know how to successfully connect with them.
Effective networking takes work; wishing and hoping for
an effective network won't get you anywhere. Our alwaysplugged-in world has upped the pace of life for established
business leaders just as it has for you. Here are five strategies
to help you approach building your networking effort by being
efficient, organized and focused.

Build Your Network Before You Need It
The best time to start networking is while you're still in
school. Look for professional groups in your field. Attend their
events with the goal to meet people working full-time in the
field and learn from the speakers. Many of these groups need
volunteers. Become one. It is a terrific way to gain experience
and credibility and build your network.
If a businessperson or alum speaks at your school, go up to
them afterward to thank them for their presentation and
get their business card. Then follow up by writing a note
thanking them (even better mention something they said that
resonated), ask a follow-up question about their talk and if
they are willing to meet with you to talk further. Also, send
them a request to connect on LinkedIn. Be sure to include a
personal message when you send that rather than the generic
connection request.

Be Specific in Asking What You Want

Build Relationships in Small Increments

Ask if there are any events, trade association meetings or
volunteer opportunities that you should consider to help
you build your network and gain some good foundational
experience. Then respect their insight and follow up by
attending and getting involved. This gives you another
opportunity to either see them again or to follow up with
another touch point to thank the connection who suggested it.

Remember, older generations work off of relationships, not
casual one-time meetings. Relationships built carefully over
time with mutual interest can turn into the path to your next
step in your career.
Building relationships with professionals is a skill, and like
any new skill, you have to practice it over time. Be patient
and let the natural timing work to your advantage. Slowly and
carefully is better than rapid and all-in. Be selective and try not
to cast your net too wide. You want networking connections
that can help you in your field. As you gain confidence, learn
to express yourself more clearly and ask insightful questions,
which will also help you prepare for job interviews.
24

success || july/august 2017

Don't waste the time of your networking contacts. Be clear
about what you are hoping to gain from the meeting. Tell
them exactly what you want to do and why you think they
can help you. "Informational interviews" are a terrific method
for learning about their career path and gaining their insight
about how someone like you can build your career too. But
make sure you have a stated purpose for the meeting and
then stick to it.

Face Time is Critical
We're all too used to communicating by text and email. While
that works in many situations, networking calls for much
more personal methods. You need to build a relationship. This
means personal connection. People can only get to know you,
like you, and want to help when they meet you in person. This



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Success by Association - July/August 2017

President’s Message
Event Calendar
Four Ways Managers Can Help Improve Employee Performance
Attract Millennials to Your Meeting
Address These Employee Needs for Maximum Retention
Seven Ways to Improve Panel Presentations
Growing Event Attendance Through Content: Very Useful for Associations
Thank You to our Annual Meeting Sponsors
Creating a Pocket of Excellence When Surrounded by Mediocrity
Get the Message
Member Updates
5 Reasons to Consider Live Streaming Your Next Event
Strategies for Effective Business Networking for Young Professionals
Young Leader Profile
Buyers’ Guide
Advertiser Showcase
Advertiser Index
Executive Director’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - intro
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover1
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover2
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 3
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - President’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Event Calendar
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 6
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Four Ways Managers Can Help Improve Employee Performance
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Attract Millennials to Your Meeting
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 9
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 10
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Address These Employee Needs for Maximum Retention
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Seven Ways to Improve Panel Presentations
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 13
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Growing Event Attendance Through Content: Very Useful for Associations
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 15
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Thank You to our Annual Meeting Sponsors
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 17
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Creating a Pocket of Excellence When Surrounded by Mediocrity
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 19
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Get the Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 21
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Member Updates
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 5 Reasons to Consider Live Streaming Your Next Event
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Strategies for Effective Business Networking for Young Professionals
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 25
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Young Leader Profile
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Buyers’ Guide
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Advertiser Showcase
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Advertiser Index
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover3
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover4
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