Choosing a Networking Group – Be Picky

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Choosing a Networking Group – Be Picky

There are literally dozens and dozens of networking and job transition groups in the Twin Cities.  The list can be overwhelming and changeable.  How do you know which to attend?

The key question is which will render the greatest return on investment of time.  There is only so much time whether you are in a job or in between jobs.  The last thing you want to do is spend 2-3 hours and walk away with nothing or saying to yourself, “that was a waste!”

So how do you choose?  First is understanding that networking groups vary by target audience, cost and format.  Some are specific to level; executive, manager, young professional.  Some are specific by profession; project management, finance, accounting, human resources etc. Some are specific by industry; med device, manufacturing, consumer goods, etc.

The format also varies.  Some have speakers, some are for general networking, some have instruction in terms of how to job search, how to network, how to build a LinkedIn profile.  Some are very focused on making connections.  Some are spiritual and supportive by nature. Some require you to stand up and say your “elevator speech”.

Cost also varies ranging from a $3 contribution to over $20.  They range in time from 1 hour to over 4 hours.

The key is to choose a networking event based on who the attendees are, your style, and value of connections.  Also mix it up.  Choose one that is industry focused, 1 that is profession focused and 1 that has a mix of working and non working attendees.  Over the course of time mix it up again as your networking objective changes.

Lastly make sure that it is a good use of your time and you walk away saying, ‘I’m glad I went, I made some valuable connections and I’ve expanded my professional network”.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.