How To Network Like A Boss!

14th Feb 17

1 Comment

When Pepper Your Talk Talks Networking, You Listen.

A year or so into my job within the Burberry HQ, a real dream come true and amazing company, I realised that my skill sets weren’t suited to any job that already existed – I needed to work for myself. Which meant that very soon I wouldn’t have the comfort of hiding behind this huge brand and would actually have to go out there and make a name for myself. I made up my mind and made a plan. First task on the to-do list: NETWORK!

This could mean many different things to different people but for me, I had 3 main objectives:


Meet new people/make industry contacts

Build upon my confidence

Make people aware of what I am good at/have achieved


That’s the first step! Figure out why you, (insert your name), want to get out there and network. Once you’ve decided on a few clear objectives you can begin to narrow down your plan of attack. Now let’s go through the others, I promise this won’t be painful at all:

Online Vs. offline

It’s 2017, Donald Trump has twitter fingers, Kim Kardashian is back on Instagram and you and all your friends are actually enjoying Facebook again! The internet is a real thing and we can’t ignore it. Therefore, before you physically going out and connect with the world, take some time to sort out your online presence on LinkedIn, The Dots or any other professional platform you may be on. More and more connections are being made online. Think about how many InMail messages you can send in a minute, compared to the amount of events you can attend in a day. A useful tip I will share is to use the same profile picture on all sites – a very small way to build a uniformed presence.

You feel awkward…

…the truth is, we all do! You’re not alone in this, but you have to get over it to get to the results. You may feel awkward because you feel like you’re lying. Then don’t! Become the type of person you can confidently introduce to people – No fakes, no gimmicks! You may feel awkward because you don’t want to interrupt a conversation that’s already happening. This is a tough one but my tactic is to stand close enough to hear the conversation. If it seems private, then definitely back down, but if it’s not and you find an ‘appropriate’ opening to jump in then do! You may feel awkward because you don’t actually know what you want from the people you meet. You could be in front of the Features Editor of a great magazine with no story to pitch. Don’t force it if you have nothing to offer at the moment, your main objective should be to leave a good impression! My advice, introduce yourself in the best way possible and secure their email address.

Be prepared

One of the most underestimated golden nuggets of advice has to be ‘preparation is key’ – It really is the key to the door of your next opportunity. You will feel a shift in confidence when the necessary research has been done before stepping into a networking environment. 9 times out of 10 the event speakers or panel will be announced beforehand and almost everyone is on Instagram, get to know about their personal and professional lives, that way you’ll get a sense of what they’re like and how to approach them. As a major bonus, you also won’t run out of things to talk about! Just don’t come across as a stalker, even if you are, they don’t need to know it. Not many people know this but you’re also able to research the crowd by checking who has RSVP’d via Facebook or even on eventbrite.

On the really bad days…

I’m just over 2 years into my networking journey (if that’s even a thing) but I still get nervous. When I’m feeling particularly wobbly I have 3 top tactics that ALWAYS work for me.

It’s a fact, in my world, that clothes change your mood. Wear something you feel confident in. There’s even an article on my site about my ‘power dressing tools

Split up from friends! I’m silly old Dior in front of my friends, so it’s a little difficult to switch into my professional self when they’re around. If they’re real friends they won’t take it personally

2 years in, the short and sharp line I use to introduce myself has changed so much! It’s important to have one and to practice it in the mirror just before you attend the event!

I can almost guarantee that all these tips and tricks will serve you well. But only when coupled with a self-belief, that nobody can teach! Believe in yourself, career woman! I believe in you.

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  • Penelope Taylor

    March is going to be a busy month for me. This is timely. Thank you Melissa