Make the Most of Your Serviced Office Space: Networking Tips
Networking often sounds harder than it actually is. At its core, networking is simply making yourself available for conversations with new people in and related to your industry of work, and making new contacts that could serve you in the future.
But networking, while it has many benefits, is often difficult to fit into a schedule that involves spending most of your time working in an office with people you already know. It can often mean having to go to after-work drinks and events, which aren’t always practical – and where people are usually keen to leave their work at the door.
And herein lies just one of the many benefits of a serviced office space. Shoreditch may have plenty of other venues for meeting new people, but an advantage of a space like Proper Office is that you’re given the opportunity to interact with professionals working at all sorts of different companies during your working day. Here’s how to take advantage of that, and keep on top of your networking game.
The best networkers are the ones with their elevator pitch memorised and a dozen business cards in their top pocket.
No one would advise memorising your entire spiel, but it’s worth putting in some time to ensure you don’t waste time when it comes to opening lines. Have a clear-cut opening line for when you meet someone new and they ask you about your role and the company you work for.
Likewise, if you’re working on a big project you’re looking for outside help on, it’s worth being sure you can summarise this in a nutshell, in case it comes up in conversation and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.
The best impression anyone can give is being a good listener. And this doesn’t just mean appearing to listen with the odd nod and affirmative noise – it means really listening. This way, you can ask insightful questions and make others feel interesting and important – any conversation goes two ways, and you should be thinking about more than what you need from someone. Being a good listener will ensure you come away from a conversation liked and remembered. Remember that
Take advantage of shared office space
The best opportunities for networking will come at times when you least expect it. You may just meet someone interesting while warming your food up in the microwave.
To take advantage of this, make sure you get away from your desk on breaks and at lunch, to make use of communal space. This is much easier in a shared office space; Shoreditch has many to offer, as well as further afield in London and beyond.
See if your office has a communal breakout area downstairs. You never know what business opportunities you’ll come across while making lunch or playing a game of ping pong in Proper Office’s breakout space or rooftop area, for example. Spend some time in these communal areas winding down and talking to those working in other offices. Shared offices may also have communal kitchens, gardens, or may even have regular after-work drinks between offices.
Whether you’re networking in a shared office space, Old Street bar or at a pre-arranged networking event, taking the time to interact and engage with people can be a crucial part of opening up new business opportunities – and you never know when those opportunities could arise.