Hack your next networking event

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If you’ve ever tried networking and stopped, no doubt one reason was that you weren’t getting any business out of it.

Sure, there are other benefits to networking. It’s fun to hang out with people you like and have something in common with. It’s fun to see and be seen.

But if building your network and your practice is a primary reason for networking and it isn’t happening, or you’d like to make your next networking function more productive, according to a study, there’s one simple thing you should do.

Go somewhere new.

Find a new meeting, a new group, a new event, where nobody knows you.

According to the study, “people who are already embedded in a social network of friends and advisors don’t network much at all,” said Sharique Hasan, an associate Professor Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, who conducted the study.

He said, “Once you have a network in place, you tend to explore less. As a result, you likely miss out on opportunities to learn from new people who might be sitting next to you.”

Bottom line, if you network to have fun, stick with what’s familiar. But if you network to meet new people, learn new ideas and discover new opportunities, don’t go to Cheers (where everybody knows your name), go somewhere new.

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