It’s often said in professional settings that it’s not often what you know, but rather who you know, which makes the difference, and that has certainly proven true for us. As we’ve navigated our professional and civic roles, it has become apparent that being intentional to cultivate a diverse and supportive network matters; these are the people who will not just provide wisdom, but also career advice and potential opportunities. Furthermore, we have learned the importance of thinking long-term; you may not be able to collaborate with everyone you meet right away, so it is imperative to sustain connections and ensure that every relationship you participate in is mutually beneficial.
Just recently, we were able to partner with the Urban League of Philadelphia’s young professional affinity group, NExT Philadelphia, for an event entitled The Art of Networking. The program featured award-winning journalist, Ernest Owens.
Ernest shared his 10 Commandments for Networking in order to advance both personally and professionally. Some of the major takeaways from his presentation are:
Be intentional with your brand and how you engage with others.
Be clear on your ask (if you have one).
Be authentic. Are you truly there to network, or to find love instead?
This Valentine’s Day (with a hint of sarcasm), we thought we’d share our most memorable networking experiences. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar, or have your own interesting networking stories, we want to hear about it!
- When someone your friend was dating, tells your friend they are out of town on business, but you meet them at a networking event that same night, proving that they were lying…
- You never know who other people know, so always be honest.
- When your mentor (and former colleague) strategically blurs professional lines and suggests that you two would make excellent travel companions, and should take a vacation together, since everyone they know is married.
- Choose your mentors/professional relationships wisely, and look for warning signs. On the flip side, don’t be a creep. It’s not a good look.
- When someone you met at a networking event attempts to date you, but they are actually in a relationship. After you address their deceptive ways, they intentionally try to avoid you, and attempt to befriend your friends at future networking events in your presence.
- Be cognizant of how you conduct yourself with individuals you meet in professional spaces, you never know how your paths may cross again.
- When a LinkedIn connection helps you with a simple work matter, then repeatedly messages you, visits your office unannounced and flirts, with a goal of making highly unreasonable professional requests.
- Set clear boundaries and expectations, and respect those that others set with you.
Our wine pairing for this month is Bursel Black’s Jender Blush wine, which was featured at Haute Restaurant & Lounge for the networking event. Tasting notes below!
“With Jender Blush you can taste the beauty of Bursel Black’s debut varietal, consisting of a Chardonnay, Cabernet, and a sweet Riesling blend. The wine pours a pretty light red, and its perfume lures with an invitation to a rich-bodied, fruity experience and a lingering finish.”
Bursel Black is a locally-owned black wine company, and you can find out more about the company here.