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How to connect with others as the real YOU this year

Did you know women are quitting their jobs in record numbers compared to men?

Hey - maybe you’re one of them! How do you figure out what’s next?

If you're thinking about a midlife career change/job search/return to work in 2023 and not sure where to start…

Fear not! You have a powerful tool in your back pocket!

Connections (and not sending out countless job applications) are how 80% of people land their next role.

And that’s good news for you!

Women are awesome at connecting. But if you’re like most of us, you don’t do it enough in your professional life.

And let’s be honest – the last few years put a damper on building professional relationships, with fewer opportunities to meet new people given hybrid and remote work.

But when you connect – it’s magical!

At its core, networking is a conversation. You can do this!

In a recent EvolveMe Reinvention Collective cohort, we discussed how women struggle with networking. Ok, let’s be honest. Some said they truly DREAD networking – with a capital D! We’ve been there.

The sad thing is, that’s the case for so many women. Yet making new connections is critical for women in their 40s, 50s+ looking to return to the workforce or pivot careers:

True fact: Women who have an inner circle of other women in their corner go further in their careers.

But what holds women back from networking?

  • fear of standing out

  • outdated images of “networking” = men /business card exchange/rubber chicken dinners at conferences

  • not having the time

  • Unsure of whether they have a network (especially if they were on a career break)

  • not knowing what to say/having a title or direction

We’re making it easy for you to get your mojo back and connect with other like-minded women moving in the same direction as you with a *NEW* take on networking.

It’s all about what you have to GIVE and what you need to GET from the other person.

Think reciprocal rather than transactional. When you start from a place of generosity and think about how you can help the other person, networking can build your confidence, too!

Here are 5 steps you can take to make networking feel more natural and lets you be the authentic true YOU:

  1. Think about who you want to build a relationship with. Peers, colleagues, and mentors who do the same type of work as you? Or if you’re exploring a career pivot– maybe it’s people who do what you aspire to do. Pro-Tip: Stuck where to start? Think about your former colleagues. They have you frozen in time from when you worked together. They’ve moved on to new organizations and have new networks of their own now. And we know they’d love to hear from you!

  2. Before you meet, do your homework. Look your new contact up on LinkedIn. See what they’ve liked, commented on, or posted to gain insight into what they’re focused on. Pro-tip: Comment on one of their social media posts before you meet to demonstrate your interest in their work.

  3. Now for your “give.” Inject authenticity into this new relationship by leading with generosity. One easy way to do this is to stay curious and ask questions. Yes/No questions won’t let the conversation flow. Do this instead: Pro-tip: Prepare 3 open-ended questions to explore where they are in their career journey. Some ideas: How did you come to this work? • What’s exciting you about your work now? • What’s your favorite thing about your role? • What are the essential skills to have for this role/industry? • What challenges are you currently facing? • How can I help? Then listen carefully and empathically. Think about how you can help right now. It doesn’t have to be a big offer– a book, article, podcast, shortcut, or another contact that could make that person’s life easier is all it takes!

  4. Wrap it up with your “get” or ask. Think about what you can gain from your new contact. Ask for input, advice, industry trends, or upcoming conferences Pro-tip: Always ask the person for at least 1 new connection before you leave a networking meeting and reach out to them. That’s key to growing your network!

  5. Follow up with appreciation. Few people take the time to express gratitude - this is a way to stand out. Rather than a simple “thank you,” reflect on the conversation to make it memorable. Pro-tip: Try these notes of appreciation: It was great to connect with you about... • Thanks for the advice and inspiration regarding... • I’m glad we know each other now! • I’m excited to reach out to _________. • I look forward to following your career!

We want more for you! We know how vital networking is to a successful next chapter. So, rather than avoiding it, consider it an opportunity to practice showing up as your whole self, learning from others, and opening up about your ideas and perspectives.

If you want a safe place to start, begin networking with a small cohort of women invested in your success. We make it easy for you in EvolveMe’s Reinvention Collective virtual cohort training experience.

You’ll come away with a clear path for your career reinvention – including a community of like-minded women who become your “personal board of advisors” and who you can network with too!

Sign up to qualify for a FREE Discovery call HERE to see if the Reinvention Collective is right for you!

We want more for you!


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