Networking helped me when I married my soldier. I reached out to other career-minded military spouses and as a result, I found a job through those connections. That is why YOU should attend a local networking event this month as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s 52 Goals in 52 Weeks.
Week 45 Challenge: Attend a Networking Event
Challenge Details: Find a local networking event that you can attend this month. It may be an event specifically for military spouses. It may be an event in your industry. The choice is yours.
Your Deadline: November 14
Seriously, you got this! And finding a nearby networking event might not be as hard as you think.
Have you checked out In Gear Career for Military Spouses? They have local chapters at military installations around the world. Don’t see your location on their list? Join their virtual chapter for now and consider starting a chapter where you are stationed at next year.
Are you a business owner? The MilSpo Project is an organization that provides mastermind groups for military spouse entrepreneurs. They have monthly meet-ups and no matter what stage of the entrepreneurship game you are at, they can help you!
Look to see if your industry association has a presence in your location. Connect with your chamber of commerce to see when they are holding their next speed networking event. You can also invite your co-workers out for drinks on a Friday night.
Networking doesn’t have to be stiff and formal.
Still not convinced? Here are 4 key points about the importance of networking for working military spouses.
Networking Events Are an Investment in Your Career
Networking has helped me identify and work on my passion points. Therefore, the time spent away from other activities have paid off in the long run because it got me to where I am today.
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the “free time” for networking, but we all deserve to take the time to work on our career goals. Networking can help us make informed career decisions.
The More You Network the Better You Become at Networking
Don’t be afraid! I’ll admit, attending a networking event can be a little terrifying the first time you attend one. But trust me when I say that other like-minded professionals are genuinely open to others in the same shoes.
Feel like you suck at networking? You aren’t alone. Many of us feel that way.
But you aren’t going to get better at it if you don’t ever attend a networking event. Use this challenge as a way to put yourself out there. Come ready to introduce yourself and ask questions about the people you meet at the event.
Pro-tip: Prior to attending a networking event, practice your elevator pitch. Be ready to answer questions like “what do you do?” and “what do you want to do?” or better yet “why did you decide to come to this speed networking happy hour?”
Networking May Point You to Your Dream Job
Without networking I wouldn’t have found a passion in public relations. I started off being journalism-focused, but had the opportunity to intern with a nonprofit PR firm that came to me from a student-led networking event. Without that experience, I have no idea where I would be now!