How to make the most of your networking opportunities in a shared office space
We get it – professional networking isn’t for everyone. For some, the idea of going out into the world and mingling with strangers may be mentally draining and intimidating, to say the least. However, 80% of professionals consider networking important to career success, and for good reason: networking has a real impact on one’s professional trajectory. Like what Tim Sanders’ famous quote reads, ‘your network is your net worth’.
The fundamental goal of networking isn’t just about making idle chatter and small talk – it’s about building rapport, cultivating authentic connections and, more importantly, expanding your friendship circle. With International Friendship Day on 30th July, there’s no better time to let your barriers down and meet new friends than now. But what if the very thought of mingling with strangers at a networking or business event has your heart racing and palms sweating? Shared office spaces like coworking are here to flip the script.
Bringing Networking to You
Building bridges between relevant communities was the idea behind the International Friendship Day, and this is what coworking spaces like JustCo is all about – creating valuable conversations and establishing lasting connections.
Designed to foster collaboration and synergies, coworking spurs ample invaluable opportunities for networking when one desires. You can meet like-minded professionals from diversified industries through impromptu coffee discussions in the pantry or even spontaneous collaboration – all of which that are otherwise impossible in a traditional office setting. Whether you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or an employee in an established enterprise, you can leverage these shared office spaces to connect with professionals in a meaningful and organic way.
In this article, we’ve gathered five valuable tips for individuals who are looking to master the art of networking.
1. Refine your elevator pitch
We all know that when we meet a person for the first time, creating a positive first impression is fundamental. But in networking situations, you don’t just want to make a good impression – you want to make a strong impression, and of course, a lasting one. Given that all it takes is a tenth of a second for someone to form an impression, you’d want to ensure that you’re ready to tell many other professionals about who you are and what you do. For this to happen, having a well-crafted and refined elevator pitch – a quick synopsis of your background and experience – is imperative.
2. Start with what you’re comfortable with
For introverts, the idea of attending events and meeting dozens of new people in a day may sound like your worst nightmare – but you can certainly approach it in ways that work best for you. Instead of putting on a persona just to fit into the crowd, be yourself and play to your strengths. For instance, if you find that you thrive better in an intimate setting, go ahead and interact with smaller groups. After all, being yourself is the first step towards making real friends.
Of course, never walk into a networking opportunity without having a game plan in mind. Always prepare some well-thought-out questions in advance, so you don’t find yourself at a loss for conversation. Remember – chance favours the prepared mind. The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be able to make the most of networking opportunities when they present.
3. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date
Never underestimate the power of LinkedIn as a networking tool. The magic formula is to ensure you’ve got an up-to-date and active LinkedIn profile, where you can then connect with the people you meet and continue engaging with them after. This helps to strengthen professional relationships beyond the office space.
4. Showcase your knowledge & expertise with other professionals
With plenty of curated event spaces in a shared office environment, there lies a real opportunity to expand your network. Consider hosting short workshops, seminars, panel discussions or corporate training, where the local community can come together to exchange ideas. Unlike conventional events, coworking offers a fresh perspective to networking and makes it easier for you to connect with a diverse group of individuals who share the same goal and value – so you’d certainly want to take advantage of these offerings. While you do that, you may even forge friendships that may go a long way in both your professional and personal lives.
5. Leverage all events & member’s perks
Apart from hosting your own events, there are many other powerful resources for you to tap into in a shared office space. For one, you can make the most of regular social events put together by community teams and the suite of exclusive member’s perks offered by your space provider to share knowledge, make valuable connections and get up close and personal with professionals across varying sectors.
Shared office spaces like coworking enable you to craft networking opportunities with purpose and meaning. It also promotes friendship and fellowship among individuals, regardless of background or culture. Harness JustCo’s expansive member’s network and stay connected this International Friendship Day!
Explore JustCo with a free trial or special rates today.