There's always opportunities to form new connections and grow current ones. Networking should be integrated into every day
and doesn't stop outside the office or business events. In fact, networking outside of work related places can provide a natural platform to connect. Do you cheer for the same sports team? Support the same charity? Attended the same school?Don't miss out on these unexpected networking locations:
Ok, not just the dreaded DMV-just in general while you're waiting in line. At the coffee shop before work, at a restaurant over your lunch hour, at the checkout line in the grocery store over the dinner rush, or anywhere that permits a line. Avoid habits of looking at your phone anytime you have to wait and take it as a great opportunity to meet someone new with some face to face interaction.
2. Sporting Events
You'll likely be sitting next to the same group of people for a few hours while watching a sports game. This creates a casual atmosphere to connect and an easy mutual interest. Bond over your team's success (or failure), while learning more about your new connection.
3. Hair Cuts
It might seem strange, but if you have a regular hair dresser, you might not realize that you have already established a great personal connection. Hair dressers have a big network with a wide variety of people. Keep them up to date with your latest business endeavors and maybe they'll be able to hook you up with one of their other clients.
4. Charity Events / Volunteering
Connect over your shared philanthropic values. There are a lot of like-minded people who believe in the same cause at these events. Volunteering also provides a low key environment to network while working at the task at hand.
There's often down time between wedding ceremony and receptions-hello cocktail hour. This part of the event is meant for mingling, so don't miss out on this great opportunity of time. Discuss your connections to the newlyweds as an easy way to start a conversation with someone new.
This mostly refers to the bus or subway. If you're riding into work on a daily basis, it's likely you'll continuously run into the same group of people. You'll be able to gradually build and nurture relationships a few minutes at a time. Plus, you likely work close to each other, so if you're interested in having a meeting and going to lunch, you'll be able to do so easily.
Networking at the gym or fitness center brings a new meaning to "chatting around the water cooler." Instead of chatting around the water cooler in the break room at work, try chatting at the drinking fountain when you take a break between sets. Working out provides natural endorphins, which makes people happy
and therefore more likely to be open and perceptible.
8. Children's Activities
All those hours spent at the baseball fields between games for a weekend long tournament-a perfect time to form a connection. The best part of children's sports compared to professional sporting games, parents and fans are there to support not only the game but good sportsmanship. You can even connect with the rival team. At other activities such as a theatre performance, use intermission as a time to stretch your legs and mingle with other audience members in the lobby.
Sharing a mutual passion for an activity, art, sport or anything in between means you already have something in common. Not in any clubs yet? Check out websites just as Meetup
that helps people find others interested in the same topics. Joining an organization connects you right from the get go and helps eliminate some of the awkward
10. Alumni Events
Sharing an alma mater is a lifelong and instant bond with anyone you meet. If you graduated around the same time, you'll be able to swap stories and see if you ever crossed paths. If you graduated at much different times, you'll be able to compare and contrast the different traditions and events that took place when you both attended. The great part about alumni events if that your school most likely has an online network where you'll be able to find and connect with people you meet in person at events.
Don't let this list or the usual networking stigmas hold you back! Networking opportunities are everywhere. So, the question is-where are you going to strike up your next unexpected conversation?
If you're interested in staying connected, check out our upcoming events
page for information on local events from Coordinated. As your personal network grows, don't leave your network services
at work behind. Check out Coordinated's solutions that ensure consistent and reliable operation of you network. Contact
Coordinated Business Solutions today to get started on your customized solution.