Build your web of contacts well, as you never know where they’ll lead you. Seven women in Singapore share with Cheryl Leong their networking secrets.
Make new friends and work contacts, with these tips. Image: Getty Images
Dine and wine
“A colleague and I have what we call Dinner for Eight – we each bring along two other clients with similar interests and introduce them to each other. This makes our business networking personal too.” – Karen Leong, 35, influence coach
Befriend to connect
“My network consists of business contacts who have become friends. Whenever I meet someone I feel a connection, or have shared interests, with, I try to establish a relationship.” – Alicia Teng, 29, marketing sales anddevelopment manager
Share a common cause
“I keep my contacts involved in my various social causes. When I flew to the Philippines for volunteer work, I sent an e-mail blast to my network. Those who wished to make monetary, clothing or book donations liaised with me directly.” – Shiyun Lim, 30, financial consultant
Find a new hobby
“I usually network through my hobbies or interests. I once signed up for a diving course and some of the people I met there have since become my professional contacts. I attend these activities alone to force me to mingle with and meet new people.” – Christine Ng, 27, digital lead
Bring a friend along
“My friend and I have a monthly women-only networking group called The Ladies Club. We take turns to organise an activity, like rock climbing, and encourage the women to bring a friend along. It’s an avenue for us to share our job experiences and challenges. From there, we’ve had opportunities to connect for work as well.” – Michelle Kuek, 31, district director
Bond with mums
“I am quite involved in my son’s school events so my networking kicks off with the other mothers. I hit it off with one mum and learned that she was doing freelance design work. We managed to work together on a project, which became a win-win situation for us.” – Grace Chow, 37, head of marketing
“I use Facebook to engage with my contacts. I post business-related updates, and it’s easy to link up with someone who can help you or needs help.” – Shoba Chandran, 30s, corporate trainer
This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2012.