Why You Should Network At Events
5 months ago

Whether you are already an apprentice or an aspiring apprentice, attending networking events are vital for growing in your career. At networking events, you can meet like-minded people who have years of experience in your chosen career. By networking with them you can determine if you would enjoy this career and what type of work you could be doing.

If you are someone who is trying to get into a specific industry or wants to learn more about various industries you should start networking. A networking event is like nectar to a bee, lots of people at various stages in their career will attend these events bringing different amounts of knowledge from different disciplines in the industry. To learn more about the various projects that can be worked on in the industry you should try and talk to a number of people at these events. While it may be nerve racking at first you should just go up to someone and introduce yourself, e.g. “Hello I am …. it is nice to meet you. I’m an apprentice in …. industry and I am looking to learn more about …. industry. What is your name?” From there you can find out what role they are doing and what they are currently working on. The best way to introduce yourself at networking events is with a short and simple sentence explaining who you are and what you are currently doing. From this, the conversation will build.

While you are gaining insights into your chosen industry at networking events. you are also building your professional network and building your reputation. By talking to a number of people in your chosen field they can become your mentor and advisor. Someone who you can turn to when you are facing a difficult problem in the workplace or have general questions about the industry. Making these connections with people will also build your reputation within the industry, as you will be known as someone who is committed to developing professionally and someone who is personable. This could mean that when people have opportunities they may approach you to help them, as due to you attending networking events and developing a connection with them. They know your skill set and can trust you are competent to complete a task. One of the best ways to stay connected with people after a networking event to develop your professional network is to use LinkedIn. LinkedIn will allow you to display your academic and personal achievements while giving you the opportunity to connect and talk to like-minded people. Therefore asking for people’s LinkedIns at events is imperative.

Now you know the benefits of networking events, where do you find them? Events will normally be promoted on LinkedIn and/ or on the events page of the professional institution you are interested in. By connecting with people who are in similar jobs as you and are in jobs that you aspire to be in on LinkedIn, you will see them posting about upcoming events and opportunities. You can sign up to the professional institution of your chosen industry, apprentices are able to sign up for a student account for free and gain access to a number of resources and events. There are a number of free events so they are accessible to all to network in.

Top tips when networking:

  1. Dress professionally (smart/ smart casual)
  2. When booking the event see what the agenda is and do some research about some of the topics that will be discussed. This will allow you to be prepared with a number of questions.
  3. Be yourself. When talking with other professionals, discuss what you know and if the topic changes to an issue you are not well versed in, ask questions, people will be happy to explain.
  4. Follow up after the event. Connect with them on LinkedIn, reintroduce yourselves and continue the conversation.

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