Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

Strategically Speaking: Network? Yes, but why and how?

Everyone tells you to network. They say it's the best way to find a job, make new business contacts, keep up with business developments and grow your business as you socialize with like-minded people. But how do you do it and where do you start? That depends on what you want the networking to do for you.

Are you looking for employment? Then professional groups in your field of work are always a good bet. Go online and check out the local chapter of these groups in your area. Some have face-to-face meetings where you can network, listen to speakers and even receive continuing education credits. Examples are the Suncoast Human Resource Association and the Tampa Bay Association for Financial Professionals. Other organizations meet online only.

Many associations are geared for groups within a group such as the National Association of Black Accountants or the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists. There are also clubs and associations dedicated to furthering the goals of businesswomen such as Business and Professional Women, Working Women of Tampa Bay and the National Association for Female Executives. There are also professional organizations that educate women about specific careers. The Tampa Bay Society of Women Engineers is one example.

Are you trying to build your business and make more contacts? Again, try the professional groups. You'll meet people from outside your day-to-day sphere and many of them can become valuable resources. You can also benefit from civic organizations like chambers of commerce. Or you might try referral groups that meet regularly. Members are required to give business referrals to other members. Network Professionals International and BNI are two examples. You'll meet people who will refer to you, to whom you can refer, and with whom you can collaborate.

Want to keep up with what's going on in your community? Join your local chamber, or become a member of a civic organization like Rotary, the Jaycees, Optimist and Kiwanis. Most of these groups meet regularly and feature speakers who will discuss interesting and current topics, and all of them sponsor some type of charity or community service project you can take part in. And there are also special interest groups like the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club that keeps its finger on the pulse of both parties and on the local, state and national political environment.

Just hoping to find new opportunities by socializing with like-minded people? Choose your category. There are religious groups, hobby clubs, sports groups, alumni organizations — the list is endless. People in these clubs will open your eyes to new concepts; you can bounce off ideas, and generally have fun.

Choose the type of networking group or club that you think is best for you and go to a few meetings. If that doesn't suit you try another. In today's business environment networking is invaluable. Remember, it's not just what you know, it's who you know and who knows about you!

Marie Stempinski is the founder and owner of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business development and employee motivation. She can be reached through [email protected] or her website www.howtomotivateemployees.org.

Comments
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But that was all in...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s has been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Published: 06/21/18
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Published: 06/21/18