Q: Where is the best place to network for a job these days?
A: This answer will surprise you, but it’s from your chair. Yes, go to events and meet new people as well as connect with those you know. Yes, do the same at alumni reunions. Yes, go to CLEs and try to say a brief hello to the speakers after their presentations and stay to meet people during a cocktail reception.
But after all these in-person situations, when back in your chair, follow up with an email or a phone call to people indicating where you recently saw them; then, open the dialogue on: (a) whether there might be opportunity where they work and/or (b) that their sharing a name or two of a colleague or counterpart in your field(s) of interest would help a great deal, in building your network, as you move from person to person to come upon or create your next role.
We could talk for at least an hour about what you should say and not say, how you respond to what they may say, and on the logistics and phases of the networking process. But for now, don’t worry about meeting, greeting, or eating with every person as you network. People are so busy these days; continually trying to host networking coffees, meals, and drinks can be tiresome, time-consuming, expensive, fattening…and ineffective.
Where is the best place to network? From your chair, with your phone, computer or iPad and a cup of coffee at your side.