The Art (and Science) of Advancing Your Career

Networking is all about people and information

By Marianne LaPorte, FWSF MarCom Co-Chair

Judson WalshOn Tuesday, February 19th, at the KPMG office, Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF) hosted an event, The Art (and Science) of Advancing Your Career. Presented by Judson Walsh of Career Path Strategies, this career development event was all about the art and science of networking to advance your career, an ideal topic for the FWSF audience.

Sixty attendees listened as Judson provided key insights, tips, and suggestions. Judson also introduced his guest speaker, Mark Calvey of the San Francisco Business Times, who shared a five-minute overview of recent business trends with the audience. Trends include banking consolidation, fintech consolidation, and the growth of the payment landscape.

What Networking is — and Isn’t

Judson described what networking is— and isn’t—two types of networking, how to leverage LinkedIn, and how to craft an effective elevator speech. Networking is local and strategic and is all about making connections, meeting new people, and making introductions. There are two types of networking: in-person or virtual (LinkedIn). There are two subsets of networking: internal to your organization and external. All of these types of networking can help elevate your networking prowess. In addition, creating your own elevator speech is key when meeting new people because it conveys who you are, what you do, who you help, and how you add value. It is very important to have this prepared and polished before attending a networking event.

Networking Presentation

Maximize LinkedIn with a Solid Profile

When connecting on LinkedIn, it is important to have a solid profile in place because that is what the world sees. Make each invitation customized to the person who will be receiving it. Another tip: after connecting to someone on LinkedIn, reach out to the person after connecting and ask to meet for coffee or lunch. This can open the door to a new conversation and each can learn how to help one another!

For in-person networking events, pre-networking strategies include:

  • Go early and stay late, 
  • Obtain a list of attendees, and 
  • Review current industry news.

Information from professional associations and business publications, such as the SF Business Times, can arm a networker with good talking points about people, events, and industry news. After attending a networking event, some good post-networking strategies include: following up with contacts after the event via email and connecting with them on LinkedIn.

A final important piece of advice: Develop a personal networking plan (PNP). A PNP has calendar events scheduled, a personal goal of making X number of new connections per month, and finding a networking buddy (without hindering your ability and opportunity).

To close the discussion, Judson reiterated connecting with relevancy and purpose and the idea of being sure to always reach out and having the mindset of “how can I help you too?” Each attendee received a recent copy of the San Francisco Business Times. FWSF awarded Judson with a membership to our organization.


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