Assoc. for Women in Science

Winter 2015

AWIS Magazine covers topics important to women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine fields. Topics include career advancement, work-life balance, the state of science and technology, women’s wellness, and AWIS’ political and

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17 your network | your resource | your voice and at your favorite place. You can meet new people at a hike, at a friend's birthday party or at a volunteering activity. Pick and choose your most-liked activity, find a group that shares this passion and then go and join them. You will feel much more relaxed and naturally confident and create a better first impression. 2. Set Specific Measurable Goals Successful leaders who have gained most out of their network- ing efforts know that it is important to start with an action plan, set specific goals and measure results. Here are a few steps you can take to make your networking more organized: ■ At the start of each calendar month, write down the tentative number of events you plan to attend over the next thirty days. This can vary each time, based on your other work and personal commitments. ■ Once you have set your target (for example three events this month), select those industries, groups or organizations with which you would like to network. ■ Then, ask yourself: what are your goals from these meetings? Identify what you would like to achieve – for example: • Meet new people • Say hello and reconnect with the people you already know • Learn best practices • Promote your business At the end of the month, take an audit of all of your notes and note any areas that you still need to cover. Following these steps will help you maximize your time and energy, and you will likely find that you no longer feel com- pelled to go to every event invitation that is thrown your way. Instead, you will enter the room each time with a purpose, and leave feeling accomplished. 3. Follow up and Maintain Your Relationship Inventory If you follow up and stay in touch with those people whom you met, the fantastic meeting and engaging conversation you had will translate into a meaningful business or personal relation- ship. If you don't, the meeting will fast become a fading mem- ory, and in a few months your business card (if you exchanged any) will be in the bin. Here is what super-networkers do on a regular basis to grow and nurture their network: ■ Prepare your own relationship inventory where you have listed all the people you would like in your network. Add important details like their nature of work, industry and inter- ests, how and where you met, and any other information that will help you remember the connection and conversation. ■ After the first meeting, follow up with a customized email. Let it not be a generic "it was nice to meet you" message. In lieu of that, make sure your message stands out by adding a detail from your chat. ■ Review your relationship inventory every three months (or on a regular basis of your choosing) to see whom you haven't met or written to in a while. Then send them a hello note, share interesting reading resources or invite them to join you at an event. Highly successful people know that it is not about the number of people you know, but about how well you know them — and, more importantly, how well they know you. They also live by this old (and wise) African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with people." = Nidhi Kush Shah is an internationally sought-after, experienced and passionate facilitator, keynote speaker, writer and coach spe- cializing in executive leadership branding, communication skills, business networking and intercultural skills. In the last 8 years, Nidhi has gained leadership, business development and training and coaching experience across Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, China and India. Source: careerplaybook networking a way of life

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