Networking

How To Schmooze At Work in 5 Easy Steps

How to schmooze at work

Once you start your career in the professional world, you will quickly learn about the world of networking and schmoozing.

While this is typically an optional part of a job, it can be greatly beneficial to your career to attend networking events.

Networking events come in all shapes and sizes – webinars, workshops, meetups, trade shows, and conferences.

They are typically specific to your industry and you may see flyers up on your office billboard or be even asked to attend one.

These types of events can trigger feelings of dread – having to put yourself out there and talk to strangers isn’t the easiest thing to do. Even the most social of us can have difficulty mastering how to schmooze.

However, remember that networking is a skill that can be learned just like anything else.

The more you do it, the better and more natural you will become at it.

Keep reading to learn more about how to schmooze at these events and networking tips that will help you to mingle your way to success.

What Is Schmoozing?

Schmoozing is working the room and having friendly conversations usually to gain a business opportunity, career connection, or a favor.

When done right, schmoozing can open doors you never knew existed. I know this looks like a made-up word but it is in the dictionary and is a real thing in the professional world.

Why Is Networking Important?

Networking is essential to building a solid professional support network. By attending these types of events and meeting people, you can make impactful connections, and boost your career, and you never know what opportunities may come your way.

It’s also the best way to connect with like-minded people in your industry and learn from them. By keeping up to speed with industry trends, you can gain valuable insights and knowledge to anticipate what changes might happen down the road.

What Are Examples Of Schmoozing?

Here are some examples of schmoozing. You can use these openers to start a conversation at your next networking event.

1. How do you like the food? / What are you drinking?

One of the main reasons people come out to these events is to eat and drink. It’s an easy opener and a great way to bond with someone quickly.

2. What brought you to this event?

Maybe they were dragged along by their boss or like a certain speaker who will be talking. Whatever the answer, it will provide you with enough info to ask follow-up questions.

3. Did you see the news?

If some big news-worthy event happened and the world is talking about it, this is an easy one to start with. Even if it’s not world news, if you know something industry-specific, this could be a great icebreaker and provide helpful information to the other person.

However, avoid speaking about news on controversial topics that may be triggering to some.

How To Schmooze

Learning how to schmooze and how to network can be anxiety-inducing to start. It has a similar feel to public speaking, your palms get sweaty, you may develop a stutter and even just have your mind go blank.

We have some tips that will have you feeling more confident and in the right mindset to strike up a conversation with anyone in no time.

1. Watch how leaders interact

A good goal to have is to become someone that people look up to and want to interact with, an industry leader.

By looking for these types of leaders at networking events and watching how they interact and schmooze with those around them, you can begin to mirror their ways. See what they talk about, how they engage with others, and try out their methods.

If you’re feeling brave enough, maybe talk to them yourself. Find out how they got to where they are. You can even ask them about how they got so good at networking!

2. Ask people about themselves

People absolutely love to talk about themselves. You don’t always have to be a good talker to network effectively, sometimes being a good listener is enough.

You do not even necessarily need to keep the topics work-related. Ask people about their lives, their families, what school they went to, and where they are from. There are so many easy icebreakers and usually, once people start talking about themselves, it’s hard for them to stop.

3. Be genuine and authentic

If people sense that you aren’t engaged and are just going through the motions to get something, they will write you off.

Showing your sincerity will go a long way in making it easier for people to connect with you. It will show you’re honestly trying to get to know them on a genuine human level, rather than a connection-making superficial level.

The connection will form organically when they see you’re a real person with a story and not just a robot running a scripted, rehearsed verse.

4. Fake It Till You Make It

Even if you feel insecure going into the networking event, don’t let that show on the outside. Give yourself a pep-talk in the mirror and remind yourself that these people don’t know you and will take whatever version you give them.

Then just go out and give them a confident version of yourself and talk about things you know, things you’re good at, and things you like. When you talk about topics you are an expert in, you won’t have to fake pretending anything.

Over time, the confident version you project will turn into the real version of who you are.

Mastering The Art Of How To Schmooze

Learning how to schmooze and network effectively is an essential skill to help propel you in your career. By stepping out of your comfort zone and attending these events, you will start creating connections that will benefit you in the long run!

Use our tips, have fun, and remember to not take it too seriously, just be yourself and enjoy the process. If you’re new here, be sure to subscribe for instant access to our Free Career Center with several resources to help you master schmoozing!

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Over to You

In what ways have you been practicing your schmoozing and networking skills? Head over to our comments section on social @netwerkmovement and tell us what you have been doing. Share this with someone who needs a boost in their networking skills.

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The Ultimate Guide For Building A High-Value Network

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Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

A curated collection of must-have tools to get you promoted

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A curated collection of must-have tools to get you promoted

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About Angeni Jaipaul

Angeni is a writer for NetWerk® based out of Alberta, Canada. She is currently living her dream, working as a writer. When she’s not working, Ang loves traveling and makes friends easily with her premium sense of humor. Connect with Ang through her LinkedIn!

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