Building a successful career or business requires a great deal of diligence, time and determination. In other words – it’s not easy. Fortunately, surrounding yourself with a group of friends, associates and mentors that share similar ambition helps a great deal.
We all know that networking is imperative for professional development, but we often overlook obvious places to build our network.
Though industry associations and conferences are great for meeting like-minded people, exchanging business cards at traditional networking events is not always the most effective way to form a genuine relationship with someone.
The most effective places to develop relationships with a potential new contact is in a setting where your common interests allow you to authentically get to know someone personally before you know them professionally.
If you’re looking to strengthen your personal brand or find a mentor, you may have to think outside the box about where to meet new contacts.
Discover ten unusual places to make your next business connection.
The Airport: You never know who may be sitting beside you on a flight.
The Bar: Upscale venues tend to attract young professionals from various industries.
Sporting Events: Visiting a game at your alma mater? Be sure to connect with your peers and fellow alumni.
The Gym: Aside from getting fit, an added benefit of going to the gym is meeting similarly productive people.
Industry Events – for a Different Industry: You may be surprised at how much you can learn – and offer!
PTA Meetings: Joining the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has many benefits for your child, and you! Meetings give you an opportunity to connect with other working parents who have similar interests.
Town Hall Meetings: No matter your political affiliation or cause of choice, you’re guaranteed to meet others that share your passion.
Coffee Shops: Coffeehouses like Starbucks are often packed with digital nomads and professionals in need of their caffeine fix!
Hair Salon or Barbershop: You’d be surprised how much information people relay to their hairstylists and barbers about their personal and professional lives – information that could be beneficial to furthering your career.
Where is your favorite place for professional networking?