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Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 6-15 years professional experience
There are opportunities abound for women to network in NYC. Everything from panels, interviews, parties to charity gatherings. How do women develop a filter to take in all these opportunities and figure out which are the "right" ones to take advantage of?
Whenever there are too many choices, that's a positive challenge. In this case, choosing the "right" events are part of the ongoing assessment of your career and professional needs.
Know your reasons. Maybe it's fun or exciting. (That's ok!) Or it adds to your knowledge base, is a chance to talk to one of your contacts or reconnect. Your budget (time and money) should also be taken into consideration — charity events can add up. Finally, how frequent is the event? It may make a difference if it's monthly or annually or the Olympics.
Schedule. What are your current needs? Do you have a busy week ahead? Be realistic as to whether you'll be present.
Prepare. Identify two or three people with whom you'll want to connect. Have questions prepared if there's a panel (it helps to imagine yourself up there). Updated your LinkedIn profile and have a small supply of business cards.
Additional thoughts. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin or to over commit. Sometimes you'll only know by attending, what to eliminate in the future. Be versatile. Valuable networking opportunities could be found in structured events, social outings (e.g. ball games, golf), and a chance to volunteer or join a committee. Review your activities every six months. Enjoy!
About Lauren Gordon
Lauren Gordon, Career Counselor at Career Transition for Dancers, provides counseling, group programs, seminars and training. A psychotherapist, EAP consultant and career counselor in private practice in New York City, Lauren serves the arts, sports and other communities. She is on the program committee of Career Development Specialists Network and has written about career transition, including a chapter on athlete career transitions in "Applying Sport Psychology."
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