Top 3 Tips to Network Like a Millennial During the Holidays
Networking often makes many people cringe. The thought of roaming around a room with bunch of strangers and making self-introductions over and over is not exactly many people’s idea of having fun. Networking can require some work, but it can be fun work done with great intentions that can bring great rewards. Here are top 3 tips in networking like a millennial pro at holiday events. The beauty of networking during holidays is people are looking to celebrate and much more laid back so leverage it!
1) Be yourself
Without saying the ever so overused word, “authentic,” just be real. I often use dating analogies when teaching at business seminars to discuss some of the tactics in business dealings. We have all heard how in dating, people often ask if they are meeting your “representative” or the true you.
In business, it is the same thing. Yes, of course, you will likely be in your best outfit or best behavior and have a smile on your face when getting to know someone, and you still can be yourself. If you feel like you are not comfortable being able to do that with some people, they are probably not someone that you want to do business with in the first place.
There are plenty of people who you can enjoy doing business with by completely being yourself. Generally speaking, a person may be a good fit for you to network with or may not be a good fit, irrespective of his or her position, prestige or clout (there are more focused and strategic times when these factors do become relevant and may matter, but we will focus on the general concept here).
I have met many accomplished individuals of high net-worth, both in dollars and also in their network, and some were super cool and some were just not my cup of tea. It didn’t matter because I was being myself so either we jelled well or we did not.
Networking is not about impressing as many people as possible in a room; networking, is strategically developing a mutually beneficial relationship over time with people who we can be real with and let our true selves shine through.
2) Have fun
If you followed tip #1 above and you are completely being yourself, you are off to a great start in networking like a millennial pro during the holidays so read along. Think of networking as a get together, a small party, and you are just getting to know people that you want to get to know.
During the holidays, the energy is so festive and warm because most people are celebrating the end of the year and probably will have a glass of wine or champagne in their hand. The stuffy, extra over the top formal style of networking does not work well for millennials.
If you are looking to meet more millennial professionals, whether to invite them to join your company or to utilize their services in other ways, (we are solely focused on in person networking only and not digital networking here) just have fun. Besides, most millennials that you will network with in person will be very few and far in between attending these networking events so holiday parties and galas could be a great time to meet them.
3) Follow through immediately with selfies directly to their mobile
A great way to stay memorable is through pictures. If you are able to snap a quick selfie of you and your new networking buddy who you just met and you want to stay connection with him/her, send that selfie straight to his/her mobile phone, email or FB messenger, and you are golden!
If you truly connected with the person, chances are the feeling is mutual and you are already at a holiday party anyway so what better way to keep the connection going? Pictures are great for jogging the memory and staying memorable to that person who you are developing a new relationship with so snap it away!
Remember, enjoy the holidays, be yourself, have fun and take some selfies with people that you think are cool to be around because chances are, you will probably want to do business with those people, and not so much with the ones who you did not particularly care to be around in the first place.
Utilize the holiday fun and laid back spirit to network organically. Remember that some of the best contacts come from the most unexpected ways so whether you know it or not, you are networking all the time. Leverage the holiday spirit!