The goal of networking is to meet new people and grow your list of contacts. While this would indicate you have to attend a lot of conferences and industry events, these don't have to be your only options. With a little bit of imagination, you can turn networking into a fun activity rather than one you dread.
Here are five ideas you should consider:
- Shake-up the normal meet and greets. Instead of heading to that local job fair or networking event, why not take up an activity that you truly enjoy? That way you can have some fun while also making new contacts.
- Find the right hang-outs. Professionals in every industry have favorite places to relax during free-time. Do a little research to find out where nonprofit executives like to frequent.
- Take up a cause. Volunteering is a great way to spruce up your resume and meet people who can help you with your job search. Even if you aren't bought on full time after your service is done, your supervisor will surely have no problem assisting you as long as you did a good job.
- Offer to help at events. Call your favorite nonprofit and find out if they need anyone to assist at an upcoming special event. Even if they say no, you will at least be putting yourself out there.
- Reconnect with the past. College and high school reunions or alumni events are a great place to do some networking. They offer all the benefits of a traditional industry without the anxiety of making small talk with people you don't know.