3 Tips to Become a Boston Networking Pro
By Nicole Gandia, The Belles of Beantown | @ngandia
Remember the old adage “It’s not about what you know but who you know”? Well, if you live in Boston, haven’t mastered the “who you know” part and agree with Paul Graham’s well-written article on cities and what drives their ambition, then you can find comfort in Boston’s high valuation of the “what you know” too. Either way, if you are in the market to build your “what” or your “who”, then Boston is the ideal city for you. With one of the highest conglomerates of universities and students, many thriving businesses and a myriad of professional development organizations that span across multiple industries, Boston has – at its fingertips – ample resources and opportunities for professionals (and especially young ones) to build their business acumen, grow their network, build lasting relationships and stand out.
Here are the 3 tips you should pay attention to in order to stay connected to your current network and to expand it in Beantown:
(1) Become Involved with Your Alumni Network: If you went to school in Massachusetts, tap into your school’s network, and if you didn’t, look for your school’s local alumni chapter. Get involved in an alumni organization (there are so many positions waiting to be filled!), start one and recruit your friends to help, become a mentor for current students, join your school’s social media networks or simply attend an event and reconnect with your classmates. Your return will depend on how much you invest! If you do, trust that great opportunities will come your way.
(2) Engage with Social Networks: Boston loves its social media. Use local networks to your full advantage. Build a rapport with likeminded professionals online, tweet/post about what you’re doing or are interested in – chances are somebody will be interested and will want to connect.
LinkedIn: Join a group on LinkedIn, participate in discussions and don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you want to build a closer relationship with. For instance, join the Boston Networking Club on LinkedIn and start to connect with professionals on the same wave length.
Twitter: Create a strong Twitter headline about yourself and your interests, tweet about what you are doing, follow those who interest you and above all – engage. This will help you keep track of what’s going on in your field, what you want to learn, who you want to interact with and where you can do this. One resource you can use it Twtvite, which can help you find Boston tweet-ups based on trending events. The people you meet there will also be business-minded connectors interested in growing their network(s) and helping others do the same.
Facebook: Use it to stay in touch with friends and let them know what you are up to. Relationships are always evolving and it’s good to stay on top of what your existing network is doing and how you could help or partner with them.
(3) Attend a Networking/Educational Event and Join an Organization: In spite of the large role social media can play in growing your network, face-to-face interactions are still crucial and Boston has networking events for everyone. Below are a few of the best Boston networking resources. These can help you find the right professional organization(s) for you to network and/or become a member of as well as educational events to fit your particular needs. For a more extensive list of resources, visit this website.
Networking is about developing symbiotic relationships built on trust – and beyond that, it’s about leadership and career development. I hope that after reading this post you start to get out there to get your “what’s” and your “who’s” on! GOOD LUCK!
Castle team networking at a Meeting Professionals International Event
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