Hitting midlife can feel like a crossroads.
The kids are (almost) grown, the career ladder seems…uninspiring, and that inner voice whispers, "Is this it?" Hold on! Midlife is not the end of the story. It's the life chapter where you rewrite your own rules. And one powerful tool on this journey? Networking.
But let's face it; traditional networking can feel forced and stale – endless conferences, awkward elevator pitches, rubber chicken dinners, and the nagging pressure to "sell" yourself. Forget that. But don’t forget networking! Here’s why:
More than 80% of women at or above management level said they’ve used networking relationships to join a board, break into the C-suite, or land a new job with better pay, according to a study conducted by Chief.
Building professional relationships is a skill you can develop and grow at any stage – why not start now?
Check out these 5 “refreshing” networking strategies for women in midlife who’re ready to build meaningful connections and fuel their next act:
1. Redefine your "network." Ditch the Rolodex (remember those?). Your network is more than former colleagues and classmates. Think influencers in your dream field, online communities with shared passions, and local events buzzing with inspiration. Follow those who light your fire, engage in discussions, and don't be afraid to reach out directly – your genuine curiosity is often the best icebreaker.
2. Leverage your "mom superpower." Yes, that. The ability to juggle schedules, connect people, and build community. Join a PTA board, lead a book club, mentor young professionals – these "soft skills" translate into leadership experience, and build a network organically. Plus, you'll connect with other amazing women on the same wavelength. And if you’ve already been volunteering - tap that network as a start!
3. Offer, don't ask. Networking is about more than what you can “get.” Focus on what you can bring. Offer expertise, share valuable resources, or connect two people you know with potential synergies. Building genuine relationships based on mutual value sets you apart from the self-promotional crowd.
4. Go digital, but stay human. Online platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are goldmines for connecting with thought leaders and building a personal brand. But remember, it's not just about posting – engage in authentic conversations, share insights, and participate in relevant discussions. Let your online presence reflect your passion and expertise, not just your resume.
5. Network with your future self. Imagine your dream career five years from now. Who do you need to know to get there? Start reaching for those connections now, even if it seems like a stretch. Attend their webinars, contact them for informational interviews, and tell them about your aspirations. Planting seeds early can blossom into unexpected opportunities later. As we like to say…you never know where one connection or conversation might take you!
Above all - be authentic and YOU. Interested. Curious. Embrace genuine connections, and remember, networking is all about building bridges. You have so much to offer in your 40s, 50s and beyond. This mindset will fuel your networking potential:
Let midlife be your launchpad, not your limitation.
Need help getting started? Know yourself better, and you’ll be a stronger connector. Our curated services will help you identify your strengths and transferable skills to make connections with confidence. Check out EvolveMe’s 1-1 Coaching services and get the support you need to take the next step. It’s never too late!