On Tuesday night I ventured out to the city again, this time to do some networking. I found a group called Chicago Filmmakers, which hosts a networking meetup about once a month. Since I’m currently working on a documentary, I wanted to meet others out there doing the same types of projects. If anything, I could meet a new group to talk shop with or commiserate with.
The first hour was spent doing speed dating, but for networking. We wandered around the room talking to each person for five minutes until a whistle was blown, telling us to switch. For the most part, I was able to talk to others for five minutes about our projects and interests. Others seemed to get some details then wander away when they realized I might not be able to help them — or maybe they wanted to maximize their networking time, I’m not sure. While that was a little off-putting at times, it was overall a good experience, and I left with a stack of business cards and a few new contacts.
More and more I’m realizing that using the internet is a great way to build your networks — professional and personal. Today on Career Girl Network, I talk about how women are using the internet effectively to build their networks in real life. While people tend to believe we are spending too much time on the internet, there are ways we can use this tool wisely — and in a way that is meaningful. The main thing to remember with social media is to not just observe, but participate. Share your insights and attend events with those networks you meet online.