Network Like A…Kid

Monday evening Rayna and I hosted a meet and greet at the Station @ Mill Point Depot Building where our satellite office is located. We hold drop-in hours there on weekday afternoons and Monday evenings, a very convenient option for the residents at Mill Point. Many of them however don’t even know we’re there! So we had to find a way to make ourselves known and we did so with the help of three very special little ladies.

The girls, who tagged along with their dad to the event, insisted they help and when we told them they could invite people they jumped at the chance. They’re only in elementary school but we were all amazed by their networking skills. Everyone could learn a thing or two from them!

the girls

Top Ten Ways To Network Like a Kid

1.       Be fearless! This is the most important thing we all observed that night they were not hesitant at all to walk right up and invite any and every one they encountered to the event. Don’t be afraid to reach out!

2.        Start with a strong introduction – I was impressed with the way the youngest of the tree approached the first passerby. She confidently strolled over stuck out her hand and said “Hi my name is…! We are having a party, you should come!” First impressions are everything, so make sure you practice yours.

3.       Assume everyone is willing to listen – The girls were convinced everyone was a nice person and wanted to hear what they had to say. You should approach each encounter believing that most people will in fact be kind and want to hear what you have to offer and how they can help in return.

4.        Offer to help – The girls simply wanted to be helpful and they were. You could find them rushing around asking to refill drinks and bringing people cookies. This is an important networking lesson; you have to help in order to be helped.

5.        Be excited! It’s contagious – Because they were so excited about the event everyone else was too. Show your passion, tell people what you care about and get them hooked. Even if it is just your ideas you’ve given the other person something.

6.        Provide a way to follow up –Think about investing in business cards with your contact information to give to everyone you chat with as a way to follow up. The girls spent much of the night passing out flyers with our services and information on them reaching dozens of people we otherwise wouldn’t have and best of all now those people know how to find us!

7.       Go out of your way – Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone. They were literally running up and down the sidewalks going well out of their way to chat with people.

8.       Do it just because – All the girls got out of this event was a balloon and some snacks, they helped for no reason. You shouldn’t go into a networking situation thinking ‘what am I going to get out of this’ so don’t pass up an opportunity to network with someone or offer your help if you can’t imagine the immediate benefits because you never know when or how it will pay off.

9.       Don’t give them any reason to say no – People just couldn’t imagine saying no to these cute little girls, so use your manners and don’t give anyone a reason not to talk to you.

10.   And if all else fails just smile and move on!

Thank you so much for your help girls – we couldn’t have done it without!!

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Author: Danielle Garrison

Career Advising Fellow 2013-2014 As one of two Career Advising Fellows, Danielle will assist with career advising for students of all class years and majors through individual meetings and co-facilitation of transition strategies classes, and will collaborate with residence life and other student life initiatives to develop career-related programing. Danielle previously worked in the Career Services office at Elmira College in upstate NY for four years. Danielle completed her undergraduate work as a Business Administration and Human Services double major, as well as her Master’s Degree in Corporate & Community Education at Elmira. Danielle is actively involved in Kiwanis and loves to bake!

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