Five Tips to Demystify Networking

19 July 2022 Foley Career Perspectives Blog
Author(s): David S. Sanders

Networking requires energy and can feel “icky” at times, but putting it into practice in your daily life can increase your comfort and help you build connections with new people you meet.

My goal in every interaction with someone new is to come away with one thing I can follow up on with that person. Connecting over something business related is ideal, but if I can’t find anything then I’ll focus on something personal. Either way, it could end up being the catalyst for a mentoring relationship.

Here are five tips from an article I recently shared with University of Michigan students:

  1. Google is your friend, but do not stalk people or tell them you know their kids’ birthdays. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is fair game, and you should use anything you find there to connect and lead into other questions.
  2. Have a jar full of conversation starters ready to go. Start by asking someone about their career or what they do for fun, or use one of your own life experiences to ask an open-ended question.
  3. Your handshake will be your first impression in almost every interaction. You don’t want to have the vice grip but you also don’t want to be the dead fish.
  4. Don’t be the first to get to the bar or punch table. Don’t be the last to leave. And if you ever find yourself dividing the number of drinks you’ve had by the number of the hours you’ve been there, it’s time to leave. 
  5. Practice among your friends by having them ask you questions – the more absurd the better – and listen to and rework your answer until it doesn’t seem forced.

The most important lesson I’ve learned since graduating is how far you get in life just by saying ‘Hi, How are you?’ everywhere you go and then waiting for the answer. Taking the time to be considerate, friendly, and asking people how they are makes a world of difference.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Insights

Ten Minute Interview: M&A Challenges & Opportunities
23 November 2022
Sujata “Sue” Sachdeva and Koss Corp.
23 November 2022
Busted
Cannabis Company Cops to SEC Accounting Fraud Charges
22 November 2022
Legal News: Cannabis Industry
Foley Automotive Report
22 November 2022
Dashboard Insights
CLE Weeks
5-16 December 2022
Milwaukee, WI
Foley Sponsors Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Program
1 December 2021 - 30 November 2022
Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region
2022 Distressed Investing Conference
28 November 2022
New York, NY
Meet and Greet and Panel Discussion with E. Martin Estrada and Cuauhtemoc Ortega
28 November 2022
Los Angeles, CA