Networking is the life line of any career. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a college student trying to find their next internship, networking correctly can open a lot of doors for you.

Here are seven tips to use for your next networking opportunity.

1. Smile and like you mean it

Not the "Why do I have to be here?" grimace and not like your driver license picture smile. People notice if your smile is genuine and being genuine is a sign of trustworthy person. In turn, trustworthy people get hired.

2. A firm handshake goes a long way

Leave your limp noodle handshakes at home and your hand kissing for debutante season. It's important to have a firm handshake, but it's even more important as woman to be able deliver a solid handshake in a business environment. A 2001 University of Alabama study by psychologist William Chapin showed that "women with firm handshakes tend to be evaluated as positively as men are."

3. Be prepared with your business card

A proper business card has your name, a work email and work number. Your proper business cards need to fit your industry. If you're a creative, the more memorable the card is, the better. If you work in finance, healthcare or a more formal industry, stick to a classic design on heavy weight paper. Be sure to have a stack in a professional case. Business cards go like hot cakes and not having enough makes you look unprepared.

4. Talk to everyone

Competitors, connectors, your next boss and even the people not in your industry. No one is too good for your attention. The six degrees of separation is pretty accurate—everyone knows someone. Your job is finding the people who know the right people for you. Whether you like it or not, personal relationships tend to land you at the top of the list.

5. Be sure to know the most relevant news

The weather and non-political (unless you are at a political event) news are great icebreakers. Knowing what's happening in the world shows that are you're informed and can tap into relevant issues for work. Even better is knowing industry news. Your competitor's CEO just switched companies? Know when and her new responsibilities. Are you in advertising? What's trending in design? What's the next big thing? Who did the most-talked about commercial? Are you a writer? Who broke the latest news? Who won the latest writing award? What's trending on the runway? What aren't people talking about?

6. Ask appropriate personal questions

Beyond the who do you know, asking the right questions helps create common ground. Sincerely ask how their day is going, how long they've been working for their current company, what attracted them to their current job and what they're interested in outside of work. Talking about what you love excites people and leaves the impression you're an enjoyable person to have around. Don't ask if someone is married, what their religion is and for other personal information you don't share in work settings. Propriety isn't dead.

7. Follow up

Take all of those business cards you collected and start making LinkedIn connections. Find the cards of the people you had lengthy conversations with and send them a quick email thanking them for their time one to two days later.

Developing a relationship with people before your job hunt starts gets your foot in door before you're printing out resumes.

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I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.

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Southwest Airlines Sale 2022

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Quiet Quitting is the latest trend among Gen-Z TikTok that encourages setting boundaries at work

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Toni Morrison has an anecdote about her first ever job, which was cleaning some neighborhood woman’s house. The young Toni arrived home after work one day and expressed her troubles to her father. But he didn’t provide the sympathy she expected. Instead, he gave her something better — his advice:

“Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.”

Years later, she wrote about this remarkable experience for the New Yorker and said, in hindsight, this is what she learned:

1. Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself

2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you

3. Your real life is with us, your family

4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are

What Morrison so eloquently articulated was setting boundaries. I revisited this piece during the pandemic when working from home ramped up in earnest. Back when work was one of the few things that anchored my day.

Without a physical office, the pandemic shattered the work/life balance for many people. There was no more of that physical separation that Morrison talked about. There is no coming home from work physically. There is no real life to come back to — just a manufactured commute to your laptop in your makeshift home office.

But, par for the course, Gen Z are navigating this boundaryless era using TikTok. While internet gurus promote hustle culture and constant online availability since you’re not getting face time with your managers, there’s a trend in town — “quiet quitting.”


@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby


The trend arose from the depths of the pandemic. Layoffs, salary cuts, and furloughs proved that their employers did not care about their hard-working employees.

The Washington Post dubs quiet quitting as a fresh trem for an old phenomenon: employee disengagement. In many cases, it’s a response to burnout. For much of Gen Z, it’s a way of establishing healthy boundaries in the office and resisting the pressure of the rat race. After all, why work yourself to the bone for a company that just proved it’s ready and willing to let you go?

Despite the term’s negative connotations, Quiet Quitting can provide an empowering shift in thinking for employees.

For far too long, employees have been indoctrinated with a slew of toxic workplace advice. Faced with these old misconceptions and lacking job security or clear paths for advancement, Gen Z is untethering their identities from work.

Quiet quitting — therefore — might be a bit of a misnomer. These employers aren’t completely disengaged. They’re certainly not launching Flight Club-esque sabotage attempts on their employers. NO. Contrary to media panic, Gen Z understands the value of a job — the fickle market they entered ensured that. But they also understand the value of life.

They’re doing what they’re being paid for. Nothing more, nothing less.

According to Chief, a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders, older generations should learn from this approach.

“Gen Z has already endured the largest seismic shifts to the career landscape than any previous generation, having started their careers in the middle of a pandemic that changed office culture forever and a gig economy that makes piecing together work more viable. They’re taking both those realities and therefore demanding more autonomy and flexibility than any other generation.”

Gen Z are less attached to job titles and statuses. They’re more concerned about their lives. Sure, this can lead to problematic outlooks on money and experiences — see the “I can earn my money back” TikTok trend. But it’s better than hustling for no reward. Besides, as some Gen Z-ers put it on TikTok, the office isn’t even a vibe.

“With the ability to work from anywhere and for more than just one place, Gen Z-ers are forging their own paths that don’t rely on old patterns set by previous generations and are redefining what “career success” looks like. Gen Z can take note, as more and more leaders are similarly pursuing multiple income streams of their own through the form of a portfolio career. The way in which work looks like and where it happens is evolving.”

With less single-minded focus on one job, some TikTok business gurus advocate shutting your laptops precisely at 5 pm. And then jump onto your side hustle. Do nails or lashes on the weekend. Become social media managers for your phone. Sell soap on Etsy (again … perhaps not in the Fight Club way).

But this valorization of side hustles is not about hustle culture, either. They say job security isn’t guaranteed. Learning new skills and develop an alternate income stream/s to keep you afloat. Just make sure you’re not left in the lurch. BTW inflation is here. So every little bit helps.

But where do you start? Watching TikToks can only get you so far. Try a course on LinkedIn Learning to sharpen up your skills and learn new ones that you can turn into a verifiable side hustle — or leverage in your job search if quiet quitting leads to … real quitting.

Learn on your own time with bite-sized videos or in-depth courses. Watch them after work, before you clock in, or on your lunch break. Then, after your courses are complete, you’ll have certificates prominently displayed on your profile that prove your skills.