By Nicole Tobias
Coming back out into the world after two years of taking a break from social events can be super exciting, but also nerve wracking. Maybe you’re worried that your all-star in-person networking skills you once possessed have either faded or are rusty. If you’re looking for some pointers on how to get back in the game, here’s how you can walk the walk at Off the Clock.
Update business cards
Chances are something about you has changed since the last time you used your business card. This could be working with a new company, changing your name, changing your job title and more. Update your business cards to reflect your current work status so everyone you hand one out to can properly connect with you afterwards.
Leave the bubble
This one’s especially for my fellow remote-working professionals! It’s definitely easy to settle into your current routine and maybe only get out once a week to go to the grocery store or Target. It’s not fun to go out of our comfort zone, but going beyond the bubble can create so many great new opportunities for you and take your career further.
Bring a friend/co-worker
Sometimes it feels good to know you have someone you’re comfortable with around you. We totally get that! Off the Clock is open to both PRSA members and individuals interested in the field. So, come one, come all! Not only will you have that sense of comfort, but you will both gain some great new connections through networking.
Don’t be afraid to connect
Coming back to in-person networking can feel weird, and maybe you’re like me and might over analyze every single thing you say or do in hopes that you’re presenting your best self and not coming off awkward. That may mean sticking to yourself or with who you’re comfortable with, but I encourage you to expand out and connect with a new person or two. We’re stronger professionals when we surround ourselves with others. We can share ideas, tips, stories, support and ultimately inspire one another. So don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone new.
Need some conversation starters?
Between personal and professional questions, there are lots of ways to break the ice with other attendees. Ask if they’ve been to Coop de Ville before (where we’ll be hosting our Off the Clock series), if they have any pets, or about a hobby they enjoy. Share where you’re employed, a career you’re interested or an exciting project you’re working on. Plus, any of the PRSA Board Members are happy to make an introduction.
Take networking next level
After the event, be sure to connect with people while your name/face are fresh in their mind. Add them on LinkedIn, Instagram or whatever social platform they’re most active. Share a personal message about what you enjoyed about the conversation.
Come walk the walk with me at Off the Clock on Thursday, March 31. Let PRSA Pittsburgh know you’ll attend by RSVPing at Eventbrite.