Despite what most professionals would suppose, HR teams in STEM fields frequently hire talent culled from business networks. This puts many engineers, accountants, and tech gurus at a disadvantage: STEM executives must typically work harder to find networking opportunities because their careers naturally lend themselves to a more individualized mindset. Executives looking for a career in the tech industry must hone their professional networking skills to find a satisfying new position.
Networking Tips for STEM Executives
- Plan ahead. Many facts-oriented professionals find networking a challenge, but STEM executives must network if they hope to thrive. To smooth the conversation, plan a short anecdote to break the ice, have a 2-5 minute sales pitch prepared, and pay attention to the conversation to determine an appropriate time to request additional information.
- Show some personality. It’s easy to get stuck in business mode, but STEM executives, just like their sales and marketing counterparts, spend enough time being all business. Showing personality at networking events — in addition to making the hiring process less boring — often demonstrates creativity, team building skills, and how well a job candidate would fit into the company culture.
- Utilize your existing network. If your network comes up dry for job opportunities, that doesn’t mean your connections are worthless. Broaden your network through the industry professionals you already know and never pass up an introduction at a party, work function, or networking event.
- Practice. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, practice is the key to making an impact at a networking event. Practice your introduction, pitch, and organic conversational skills every week to hone your networking skills.
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