Don’t worry—this isn’t another blog post on why you should network. We all know it’s a great way to meet potential employers, investors, colleagues, friends, and increase your span of opportunities.
What we would like to propose is a new twist on how to network. While we see no end to the time-honored tradition of cocktail hour meet-and-greets, we think there’s room for a new form of networking:
How can taking a class help you meet people who can help you –
- grow your business,
- find your next job,
- learn from their experiences?
There are a ton of reasons, but here are the big three:
- Deep Networking. While it is not impossible to discover a kindred spirit at a cocktail event, there is no better way to really get to know someone—and to have them know you—than to work together. Many of the classes we are planning at the Center have some aspect of collaboration built into them—it is a great way to build a relationship.
- Second Impressions. There is a certain type of person who can size someone up on the basis of a handshake. The rest of us build trust by interacting over a period of time. Observing an individual in a hands-on classroom environment is a great way to understand their approach to problem-solving and interpersonal dynamics. By the end of a class, you’ll have a better sense of how to proceed with a nascent professional relationship.
- Support for the Shy. Calling all introverts! Taking a class puts structure around networking in a way that walking into a crowded room of strangers can never match. The topic of the class, for example, is an easy conversation-starter. And we structure classes at the Center in a way that requires collaboration with classmates—another way to take the pressure off.
Classes at the Stamford Innovation Center begin in April, and every class builds in time for networking. We would love to hear from you regarding what topics you would like to see. Check out our offerings here, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.