For a lot of people, networking is by and large a business activity. After all, its primary function is indeed to help further one’s career, yet the pressure that comes from marketing one’s self and networking can sometimes feel like too much. If you can learn how to incorporate networking into your daily life, however, you’ll be one step above just about everyone else.


Networking Should Be a Daily Activity

If you think about it, any time you’ve ever been in a social situation and have met someone new (and perhaps kept up with them), you’ve really been networking. Social networks are just as vital to our lives as business networks, and there’s actually quite a bit of overlap between the two. Take the following tips to heart, and don’t hesitate to branch out and come up with your own ways to network on a daily basis.


1. Use Social Media

These days, most people under the age of 60 are using social media on a regular basis. It’s something that could never have been predicted years ago – a true social phenomena. The thing is, it’s incredibly easy to take things into the business spectrum if you’ve been using social media for personal reasons. Facebook, for example, is a great service for networking with people in your area, especially if you have some name recognition. Perhaps the best thing about using social media to network, though, is that’s free. You don’t have to advertise – you just need to get yourself out there.


2. Volunteer!

There’s no getting around the fact that volunteering provides people with a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end of the day. What many don’t realize, though, is that it’s actually a great way to network. If you’re of the volunteering mindset, you may as well take this time to meet others. Try to choose a volunteer activity that is not only in line with your interests, but provides a good chance for you to meet people who might someday serve vital rolls in your professional network. Just be sure to avoid going into the situation with an agenda, and you’ll have nothing to lose.


3. Take Advantage of Happy Hour

Happy hour may be a big part of business culture, but a lot of people actually feel guilty about participating. It may seem like a guilty pleasure at face value, but happy hour is actually an excellent networking opportunity. You never know who you might run into at the local pub after work, and you can use happy hour as a time for casual business meetings if you’re looking to connect with like-minded professionals. A word of warning, however – alcohol can be a dangerous catalyst! Don’t settle anything important over a handful of martinis. Instead, use this as a time to get to know those who you might wish to network with on a more casual, personal level.


If networking seems like a hassle, you’ve just got to learn how to make it a bigger part of your daily routine. Stop by a Networking Austin meeting to learn more about how to streamline your networking skills!


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