This article is brought to you by the collaborative stylings of Jim Vogel at Elderaction, www.elderaction.org and SilverSage Management Services, www.silversageusa.com.
If you’re a senior and already in retirement, you may get lonely or bored sitting around alone at home. Fortunately, you can kick the blues at any age by getting more involved in your community. This can mean anything from starting your own side business to rejoining the workforce or volunteering in some capacity. The key factor is remaining active, whether inside or outside your home.
There are many ways to get involved—and the best way to make the most of them and discover your options is through networking. However, if you’ve been out of the job circuit for a while, the thought of attending a networking event can be nerve-wracking. Don’t stress!
The below guide has you covered. Read on for five networking tips for seniors, presented below by SilverSage.
1. Define Your Brand
If you’re thinking about starting up a side gig in retirement, you will still want to stand out by defining your brand. When you go to networking events, you should have business cards that reflect your brand. They should include your logo, company name, and contact information. You can create your own logo using a free logo tool—just be sure to incorporate good design practices. You can change details like the font, icon, colors, and text to personalize it.
2. Prepare Your Elevator Pitch
When you give someone your card, give them a short elevator pitch to go with it. This is a small speech that explains who you are and what you do.
It’s also helpful to have an updated resume on hand to spell out your experience and accomplishments. If you haven’t tried a resume generator before, you can create a slick, professional-looking resume by utilizing a helpful, free resume creator. This online tool allows you to choose from a library of professionally designed resume templates and add your own information.
3. Find Networking Events in Person and Online
Once you have your brand and resume ready to go, it’s time to get out there and meet people. Start by looking up local events in your area. Eventbrite is a great tool for finding possibilities. You can search based on your specific location and get local events only. You can also get to know people through local services.
4. Get Active on Social Media
Social media is another way to get involved and network with people. Online networking can be especially useful if you’re a senior with mobility issues and struggle to leave the house. LinkedIn is one popular networking tool, but there are many others, including Facebook, Twitter, and Quora. You can also use social media to promote your business or cause. For instance, if your business model is selling crafts to support worthy causes, you can show pictures of your handiwork on Instagram. This is a great way to build an online following.
5. Make Sure to Nurture Your New Relationships
Networking is all about building relationships. When you meet someone, commit to nurturing the connection. CareerOneStop suggests best practices like sending them news articles of interest or coming up with a solution to a problem they’ve shared with you. Other effective networking tips include following through on promises and doing favors for others before asking for favors for yourself. You can further build connections by regularly attending business events and inviting your new contacts to join you.
Networking as a senior can be intimidating at first. Don’t let your nerves stand in the way of your success and happiness. From updating your resume to attending community events, take advantage of the opportunities in your area to get out there and get your voice heard. Trust the tips above to help.
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