When my dear friend and hair look alike mentioned that she would like me to do a blog post, I was a bit nervous because I really didn’t know what to write about. I like writing don’t get me wrong, but what to write could also be an issue sometimes. So I thought to myself, what am I passionate about? And then I got the light bulb moment; career development of course!

networkingI will be showing you where to go and how to develop your skills and build your network.  As Les Brown said, “Your network determines your net worth” and in career development you can move places in the career ladder based on the people you know and the amount of hard work you put in, of course (as I do not encourage eye service in the workplace). Hence, it is very important to network with people, get into their professional circle. As I always say to a colleague of mine- No one is going to work at a job for ever, so the earlier you start building your connections the better for your career life. So…Let’s get started!

Networking events are great for meeting new people, expanding your network and also learning new things. I have met many amazing people who have become really good friends at events and I think you can too!  Here are some sites I browse for events which I attend week by week

http://www.234events.com/

https://www.eventbrite.com/ (This is my favorite)

http://allevents.in/lagos

http://eventnownow.com/

Most of these events are free to attend while some are to be paid for. For most events’ sites, you would need to create a free account before registering for events (this allows your tickets to be sent to your email after successful registration).

After registering for an event, I get really excited and automatically start counting down to the event- I also ensure I add it to my calendar so I don’t forget. Here are a few tips to use as you plan to attend –

  • Go with a goal, either to meet people in your field or get a solution to a problem
  • Remember to smile, even if you had to take three buses and an okada to get to the venue, lol, just smile once you arrive at the venue.
  • Dress the part, wear something nice and comfy (but by all means follow the dress code)
  • Go with your business card or anything that represents what you do for a living
  • Do your research- on people who will be speaking at the event
  • Remember to meet the host and say nice words about the event
  • Meet the speakers/facilitators and commend their talk and ask for their business card afterwards
  • By all means have FUN!

No one becomes a professional “networker” overnight, lol! I will always advise you take it one step at a time. If you feel shy at events, its best to go with a friend or family member- always helps ease tension of meeting new people if you are in a group. Also attend events which are in line with your area of calling or passion as you tend to learn a thing or two and more so grow your network in that space!

Happy networking!