Networking can be quite difficult for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for women.
The business world is still largely catered toward men and even though we women have proven to be exceptional at business, investing wisely and seeking out the best small business loan rates around, we still have to work much harder than a man to get ahead. Networking is a key ingredient in business and here are some tips that will get you networking like a pro and outmatching any man around.
One of the greatest downfalls of women is that we can often be intimidated in a room full of other people. It is understandable that you might be an introvert, but business is no time to sit in the shadows and hope no one sees you. You will not get noticed if you do not speak up. Stay up to date on relevant topics that can be discussed with others during a meeting or just social time. You do not have to be the loudest or even the most interesting person in the room. A few notable additions to the conversation keeps things going. Once you have done this a few times, it will feel less awkward. Ask a lot of relevant questions and do not be afraid to speak to a lot of people.
Even more important than your ability to speak up is your ability to listen. We humans tend to be so involved in our own lives that we forget to listen to others. When you are out networking at different venues, even if you are not interested completely in what is being said, always listen to it. You never know when that person you are listening to might be your ticket to your next big contract. Potential clients often set listening tests out to feel for new talent just to see who is actually listening and who is going through the motions.
Dress for It
It seems a little shallow to bring how we dress into the equation, but networking is initially about having people drawn to you. The best dressed tends to get the most attention. Remember however, that you are dressing for networking in business, not getting a date. Classy, yet modern business attire is appropriate. Clothing should be well-thought out for the networking event and not something that is simply thrown together. Pick colors that go best with your hair and eye color. This is not just a general fashion tip, it works best for networking as it tells others that you pay attention to the small details.
Networking for women does not always seem to come naturally to us. We often have the misconception that we are being judged, but it is time for we as women to take hold of the business world and do not fear the necessary task of networking. Networking allows you to grow in business and even personal relationships. Yes, there are times when you will be judged, but that is a part of life and you have to pick up and try again. You are an asset to the business world and these tips can help you get the connections to launch you to the top.