4 Steps to Maximising the End of Year Events
This month heralds the start of the 'End-of-Year Event' season! You will have the opportunity to attend networking events over the coming weeks before Christmas. Now is the perfect time to consider your approach to these opportunities.
Many of us, especially with responsibilities outside of work, such as family, may start to feel overwhelmed at the number of commitments at work and outside. But, many of these networking events provide valuable opportunities for you and your organisation.
"According to multiple, peer-reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success." Michael Simmons in Forbes Entrepreneur , 2015
So what are the strategies that you can adopt to make the most of the end of the year events without over-committing and burning-out before the end of the year?
Here are my 4 simple steps:
1. Lock in Your Non-Negotiables
Get organised now by ensuring the non-negotiable events are locked in your diary. These may include work events, such as end of year functions, but you should also block out time for those external family events. If you have not yet done this, do it now!
Talk to those around you (your family members and work colleagues) about how you can share these opportunities and balance the work and other commitments you have in your life. Perhaps you don't need to attend everything, if you can ensure someone else is going to be there instead. This may create new opportunities for others to get involved and engaged with other groups. Make sure you follow up with these people after the event.
3. Be Selective
Your time is limited, so be selective about which events you choose to attend outside those non-negotiables you have already locked away. The key to being selective is knowing your networking goals. What are your networking goals? Take a moment to consider what success looks like for you when you attend these events. For example, you may be interested in extending your network to an area that you would like to understand better or to help you achieve your next career move.
Only attend those events that will progress your goal and share the events you can't attend with others. Don't attend an event just because a lot of people you know will be going. Saying "no" can be a challenge for some of us. I was recently at a breakfast event where Carolyn Creswell, Founder of Carmen's Muesli, shared her tip of learning the "art of the graceful no".
4. Diverse Networking
We are all programmed to seek out people who look like us, sound like us and share similar experiences and values to us. Gravitating towards people who are like you may make the networking experience easier but it may be getting in your way of achieving your networking goals. Be deliberate in seeking out people who are different to you at the events you attend. You will be amazed at what comes from these connections and from growing your diverse network!
Good luck with your end-of-year networking! I hope you make progress towards achieving your networking goals over the coming weeks. Why don't you share your tips on networking. I'd love to hear your stories and networking experiences.