professional networking
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Networking is a philosophy that consists of establishing a professional network of contacts that allows us to get to know ourselves and our business, listen and learn from others, find potential collaborators, partners or investors. Active networking enables the exchange of information and contacts as well as the establishment of relationships with people who share common professional interests.

One of the best ways to find work in Barcelona like anywhere else in the world is through contacts and recommendations. Therefore, it's recommended that you to make an effort to create a network of contacts in the new city where you are. Currently, and especially in a city as lively as Barcelona, there are many options. Here are some of them already:

  • Facebook (and WhatsApp) groups of expats or people from your country, there are thousands!
  • Websites that organize meetings around a theme: language exchange, meetings to talk about hobbies such as reading, yoga, cooking, etc. The most famous is MeetUp.
  • Workshops and courses to find a job, to improve your CV, etc. There is an excellent government organisation called Barcelona Activa that has all kinds of free classes that you can access once you register on their website.

Speed networking events

Furthermore, based on doing Networking, the "Speed Networking" arises. Inspired by the system of fast face-to-face appointments, in which there is little time to meet a large number of people. Speed Networking is a methodology that consists of contact "wheels" in which participants, sitting face to face, have two minutes to exchange information and achieve their professional and/or personal objectives. In Barcelona, some companies organise this type of event to bring together entrepreneurs and business representatives. This fast meeting varies from 60 seconds to 5 minutes, and you must communicate:

  • Who you are 
  • What you are doing 
  • What you offer
  • What are the advantages
  • What value you bring

Keep in mind that being quick contacts gives you the possibility of establishing a high number of connections in the same session. However, your meeting will be fruitful as long as you manage to awaken interest in the other person.

In these events, you must be original and even daring to attract the attention of the other. Imagine that in a short lapse of time you have established 15 contacts. When you go by the number 6, you do not remember the first one unless something impressed you and you remember it. In an increasingly globalised world, professional contacts play a fundamental role in the labour market. Learn to generate good links by attending networking events.

Networking websites

Having a good network of professional contacts is almost as important as having a flashy resume when it comes to getting a job. To generate mutually beneficial links with your colleagues, it is essential that you attend networking events in which you can interact with them. If you still do not know where to look for them, here are five websites to find networking events:

Meetup.com

This useful site will allow you to join groups that share your interests and work performance areas, to schedule meetings, or simply exchange helpful information.

Eventbrite.com

This service is usually best known for its usefulness in organising congresses and seminars. However, it also gives you the opportunity to enter a search engine to find the networking events of your interest that are being developed in your city.

Facebook Events

The social network Facebook is not only a useful tool to keep in touch with your friends and family. Through its event service, you can contact professionals from all over the world and stay informed about networking meetings, both virtual and real.

Toastmasters.org

If you are attracted to the idea of learning new skills while practising networking, this site is ideal for you. Toastmasters not only offers you a complete agenda of the events that will take place in your city but also gives you practical advice on how to improve your communication skills and job interview.

LinkedIn

We could not leave the social network number one in terms of employment contacts, LinkedIn, out of the list. If you still do not have your profile configured on this platform do not hesitate a moment more. Otherwise, you will lose valuable information about your professional field and interesting events where you can get to know.

Regardless of your situation in Barcelona, the more people that know and trust you, the more opportunity is likely to come knocking on your door. It takes some energy to build a strong business and social circle but put the legwork in, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits. Besides, everything is that little bit more relaxed in Barcelona. Choose your event, enlist a friend, keep an open mind, and who knows, you may even find yourself having some fun.

Tips for successful networking in Barcelona

Choose your event carefully

 If you’re just starting out, look for an event that seems to attract the kind of crowd that you’re interested in meeting. If you have a very specific business agenda, then find an event that draws more experienced business people. If you just want to widen your circle and be inspired by new people, then an event that appeals to young entrepreneurs could be your best bet.

Know your purpose and how to communicate it

You should have an idea of what you’re trying to achieve. You should also be able to describe your business/job search or enterprise clearly in a couple of sentences. An aggressive sales pitch isn’t necessary and will just scare people off.

Keep an open mind

You may go to an event with a very fixed idea of the kind of person you want to meet—future business partner, clients etc.— but the chances are that you’ll meet a host of other people who could also be interesting to you and your business. Be focused, but keep an eye open for pleasant surprises.

Follow up your new contacts

Set aside an hour the following day to contact your new contacts via LinkedIn (if you’re not on LinkedIn, now is the time to get started). Send a quick message or email to people that you would like to meet again soon.

Don’t forget your business cards

You’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities if you don’t have cards to give out. If necessary, you can get these done inexpensively online. Visa Print is just an example.

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