On Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining Cotten Kandi Media company, as the host, for their Girl Bosses Networking event.
|@epiphanykendell @mieks_summerdove @cottenkandimedia @beautifulket|
The event was absolutely amazing and inspiring.
Four millennial women shared career and life advice with attendees, while I served as host. We discussed the different industries our speakers represent and heard tips about how to be successful. It was a beautiful event because all of us were so supportive, knowledgeable and willing to share with others.
There were moments when I had to stop and reflect on the strength and power that was in the room. Between the speakers and our audience, we successfully created a safe space where everyone felt comfortable being vulnerable and supporting each other. As women of color in professional industries, the ability to do this is so important because oftentimes, women struggle to find these spaces in their work life.
Of course some companies and industries are better than others, but with this event, we wanted to show young women that the support is there. We also stressed the importance and benefits of networking. Hearing “networking” can be intimidating for some, but really, networking is simply intentional communication. Networking is attending events like the Girl Bosses event and connecting with someone in your field. It doesn’t have to be super serious or formal. If you’re nervous about how to “network” make sure you employ these three simple tips.
1. Remember their name and their relevance to you.
A tip I learned very early in my career (maybe 13 years old) is when I collect someone’s business card, I write one interesting fact about them on the back of it. When I’m doing follow-up, I send an email to the new contact and mention something we discussed. Now, as an adult and a businessowner, I make sure to include how we can collaborate. Try it!
2. Attend networking events!
There are companies (like @thecolormeb) and people that host these events to get young people talking and engaged. Go to eventbrite.com and search for events in your area. On instagram, search the hashtags. If you’re shy about speaking with people, this is a great place to start because you can search for events that will make you feel comfortable. Also, some of these events are FREE. You just have to find them.
3. Be yourself.
Like I said previously, networking is simply intentional communication. There’s no script, no formula – just do you. Talking to someone in a c-suite position or a managerial position can be scary, but they are people just like me and you. Also, if someone is not a nice person, chances are their employer wouldn’t send them to recruiting or networking events, so don’t worry about that. If you need help overcoming nerves, try practicing with a friend. You can also shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to help!
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