How to Make Professional Connections in Less Than 2 Minutes
Job Search

The Next Big Thing: 2-Minute Networking

Down with hours long networking events and conferences. Long live speed networking.

In our fast-paced world, efficiency and clarity are prized qualities. It's not much different in the networking world. In fact, efficient networking can help build stronger, more nuanced, longer lasting connections. Here are three tactics for leveraging networking techniques that take less time than your Keurig.

1. MAKE INTRODUCTIONS

When you meet someone at a networking event, often a third person will spring to mind. A coworker, a friend, your neighbor's cousin—someone will pop into your head who could contribute to the current conversation. Where it feels appropriate, tell the person you'd love for them to meet this contact and offer a short explanation why. {click to tweet} This creates both an important and personal connection: the person you're talking to feels heard and appreciated, and there is a built-in future touchpoint to start building a lasting connection right off the bat. 

You can also introduce them to a third person at the same event. By doing so, a similar outcome arises but with potential for twice the impact: that third person might then connect you both with additional people, creating a very fast network of like-minded professionals who can support and empower each other. Bonus: they will remember that you started the whole thing. 

2. TAKE TWO MINUTES EACH TO SAY HELLO TO 5-10 CONNECTIONS 

Schedule it into your week or month depending on the size of your network. {click to tweet} Send a check-in hello, ask how you can help them, send an article that they’ll find beneficial, or introduce them to someone they should know. This is a great way to follow up with people, even if you only spoke with them for two minutes during your first meeting: if you remember that your connection was really interested in cutting edge 3D printing, send them a link to an article you saw on Facebook. Easy and personal.

Spread these touch-base emails apart in such a way that your connections don't feel badgered, and make sure to provide information that they are likely to find genuinely helpful and useful. (Although funny goat videos sometimes don't hurt for those special connections with a great sense of humor.)

3. SET UP A LUNCH

It will almost always take less than two minutes total to schedule a bite, and in the hour that you sit down together, you are sure to build a stronger connection. Bonus: you can both discuss your tasks for the day, gain new perspective on active issues, find solidarity (sometimes in unexpected places), and have a lot of fun, all while eating delicious food. 

Cycling through connections means you've got regular lunch company that doubles as great career support, that the company is varied enough that nobody gets bored or feels overwhelmed, and that ideas are shared liberally and openly without being tied to a computer or phone to make it happen. 

What are some other ways you network in under five minutes?