Career Guide

How to be seen in every networking session

These days, it’s all about networking. Whether you’re looking for a new career change, securing a project, showcasing your impressive portfolio or just wanting to get to know new people, we have to network!

Networking may be easy for some individuals, whereas, for some, it's an intimidating experience. However, we don't have to stress out about networking. It's a useful ‘tool' for us to brand and market ourselves. Before you head over to a networking session, here are a few tips which may help you to be noticed.

Have a plan

Yes, everything needs a plan! This is to keep you focused on your target or goal. Instead of going into a networking session blindly, plan out what you want to achieve out of this particular session. Without a focus, you'll be lost and it will be difficult for you to network with the people around you. In the end, you won’t feel like participating in the networking at all!

Keep things simple and start off with questions such as:
-   Whom should I collaborate with?
-   What are the criteria I need in order to collaborate with them?
-   Are they sharing the right target audience with me (or your company/brand)?
-   What are their strengths, skill sets, connections and more?

Once you have the answers to these questions in hand, you can plan out your networking session and achieve your goals.

Select the right networking platform

There are many types of networking clubs, groups, and associations. Select and research a few of them, including their core objectives. This is to ensure that their objectives are the same as yours. In the end, you want to meet and connect with the right individuals and companies.

Some networking platforms are:
-   Public speaking groups
-   Business networking associations
-   Sports, fitness, wellness, hobby clubs
-   Dating groups, wine tasting clubs, etc.

These are just a fraction of the networking platforms available. Find those that you feel comfortable with so you can utilise your efforts most efficiently!

Everyone has value

Remember the idiom ‘Never judge a book by its cover'? This saying fits every networking session! Everyone has value, some aspects of which you may find helpful sooner or later. Never judge anyone in a networking session. Even if you find their skills, experiences, knowledge and connections irrelevant to your plan, that does not mean you should dismiss them as unimportant.

Treat everyone you meet as a business associate. Build up the relationship with them as you learn more about their businesses and personality. They need to trust you before moving to the next stage, and building trust takes time. Be patient and enjoy the friendship you've built along the way.

Stop talking about work

Strange, but true: stop talking about work in a networking session. To break the ice, try asking the person next to you:
-   How are you? How was your day?
-   Managed to gain the insights you need?
-   How often do you participate in this network?

On a daily basis, everyone is talking about work. Give them some fresh air and let them talk about their interests. Who knows, you may share some of the same interests as them.

Once they feel comfortable talking to you, it's easier for you to ask what they do and to arrange for a one-on-one discussion.

Eventually, this sets you apart and you will not be seen as a hunter. Nobody likes to be hunted in any networking session, period.


Once you have your plan, focus, and targeted networking platforms, do not be afraid to attend these sessions on your own. Have confidence in yourself, as this will elevate your personal branding. Speak clearly and firmly. With a strong personal brand, people may be attracted to you and will want to know more about what you’re doing. One way to be seen in a networking session is basically – confidence!

Remember your focus so you won’t waste your time and effort.

Melissa Chan is the editor for, an entrepreneur and lifestyles news site.