As an accountant, networking and business development can become a key part of your role, especially the higher up within a firm you progress. Getting a head start on networking can allow you to better position yourself when looking for a promotion.
One of the key issues that many accountants struggle with is finding networking events, and knowing which ones to attend to help build not only your firm's reputation, but your personal brand within the local marketplace.
Below are 6 of the best places to find networking events in your area, how to use them effectively and what terms to search for.
Here are my suggestions of the 6 best websites to find networking events in your area:
How can I use these sites to their full potential?
ICAEW events, Meetup.com, Eventbrite and Findnetworkingevents all work in a similar way. You can search by region, type of event, and the date of the event. Once you’ve found one that looks interesting, clicking onto it should bring up some more information about what will take place at the event, if there are any costs associated with going, and who to contact if you have any further questions.
It’s always worth asking a few questions before you go for the first time, especially regarding dress code if it’s not stated. No one wants to turn up to an event and stand out like a sore thumb by being underdressed while everyone else is in suits, or go in your formal attire, while others are wearing shorts and t-shirts! Have a look at Alice’s blog to read about how to prepare for an event.
A closer look at Facebook...
There are several places to look for events on Facebook. The most obvious is the “events” section. Search for “networking events near me” in the search bar and then click onto the events tab. Under this section should be a wide range of events in your local area, where you can register your interest and see who else is going.
In addition to the “events” section, there are also Facebook pages and groups. These can be more specific and tend to be geared towards a specific group of people. The main purpose of pages and groups are to gather like-minded individuals together to create discussions and share information, but they may also be used to advertise local meet-ups.
A closer look at LinkedIn...
Many of the networking events on LinkedIn are created within LinkedIn Groups. Joining a mixture of groups relating to both accountancy and your local area will help you discover a broad range of networking events as well as help to build connections.
To find LinkedIn Groups, search for a phrase related to accountancy eg. “ACCA”. Under the “more” tab is an option for groups. Some of the groups require a member of the group to approve your application, but once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to see what’s being posted within the group, or even start your own conversation.
What do I look for?
While “Networking events” is a good start, a large portion of the results will not be relevant. Below are some key phrases you can use to help narrow down the results.
If you have any questions or would like some help to find some suitable networking events in your area then please get in contact with Antony Barnett at Harvey John.
Antony Barnett is a Recruitment Consultant in the Accountancy Division at Harvey John.
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