I’ve been really enjoying doing some “low-key networking from my desk” over the past few months. I’ve been slowly connecting with people (mostly through twitter) and inviting them to have a phone chat with me.
Typically on these chats I ask them two questions:
1) What is it that you do? What is your current role? What does it mean…etc
2) How did you get there? What was your journey?
Most of the time, this easily fills a 30 minute phone conversation with someone.
I’ve found that while as professionals there is often that huge push to go to a conference, publish in a publication, or present at a conference. Many of us are going to these conferences to bring things back to our home campuses. Many of us are also going just to network with other professionals.
I typically go for both reasons. I find, however, that while at conferences I usually spend a lot of time sitting down with people and having a 1:1 chat. I realized this past fall that I can easily do this from my desk or living room.
The upside of having good networking chats not at a conference is that there are limited conference interruptions (friends walking by saying hi…etc), I don’t have to worry about my tie being tied too tightly, and I know that I can write down their name (instead of staring awkwardly at their nametag…on their chest…) to try to remember their name at that key moment in conversation.
How do you network best? What are some tips/tools that you use?