This is a great title for a great topic, as a blizzard occurs outside my window as I write. Just because we’re in a season where everybody tends to hunker down and limit their travels, don’t halt your networking.
Regardless of what Wiarton Willie and Punxsutawney Phil predict this Groundhog Day, it’s a long time until spring and that means countless opportunities to grow your network and strengthen the ties you’ve already made. This could reap big rewards for your executive career advancement.
Here are five ways to warm up to winter networking:
Think of the benefits
When you’re tempted to hibernate instead of network, consider the opportunities you could be missing out on. At each selected networking event, there will no doubt be someone who can bring you value and will provide a gateway that otherwise would have been beyond reach.
Liven things up
Instead of talking about raging blizzards or how difficult it was to shovel your driveway, ask the other attendees about their plans and goals for the year ahead. Ignite enthusiasm and engagement into the conversation. Be open, be expressive, and be engaging. Networking, just like an interview, is a two-way street.
Focus on the positive
What are some of your favourite wintertime activities? See if others share your enthusiasm, or have fun traditions of their own. Or perhaps you can stimulate excitement by talking about warm weather destinations and their plans to vacate these freezing temperatures.
Talking about things other than your career is always beneficial, as it builds and fortifies a relationship and solid communications.
Leave enough time
Remember that life slows down in the winter. If the roads aren’t clear you’ll require extra travel time. Before you get started you may need to shovel the walk and driveway, and clear off your car. On arriving, you’ll also need extra time to stow your coat, boots, and other winter gear.
If you live in a wintery climate, you can expect bad weather, snow, ice pellets, black ice, and traffic tie-ups. So pack your patience, an emergency kit, and even a spare set of clothing.
Leave plenty of time to arrive at your networking destination. Prepare your infomercial, your poise, your introduction, and your apparel according to your audience.
If you need to, warm up with a hot chocolate before you go winter networking. Whatever it takes, just be sure to get out there!