Networking has become a large part of the legal career field. Having a broad and diverse networking community is beneficial because of the knowledge, information, and experience each person brings to the table. Sometimes, we reach a networking plateau, and haven’t met or added more people to our networking list. It’s always good to keep your network pool growing and active. If you want to find ways to optimize your networking opportunities, try some of these hobbies:
Join a book club
Many people find solace in reading. It’s relaxing, and gives you a chance to expand your mind in a creative and imaginative manner. Not all book clubs need to be business or professional oriented in order to expand your network circle. Participants are encouraged to converse and share personal experiences, so you can connect to them in many different ways. You may even find new clients.
Golf or Tennis
Golfing and playing tennis are known for being either a solo or group sport so you can go play by yourself and speak to others or being a friend along with you. Joining a sports team could be a great way to network, as well as forming a healthy habit/exercise. Golf has some down time, so you are able to converse with others easily. Tennis can be made into a dual game, so you can invite a coworker to come along with you.
Volunteering is a good way to give back to your community and meet like-minded people. There are a number of nonprofits and causes out there that may need legal advice or help, especially when it comes to social issues. You don’t have to choose a cause that is directly linked to your legal profession; sometimes venturing out of your comfort zone can help you gain more knowledge than expected.
Spin or yoga class
More and more people are attending yoga and spin classes in recent years. Since people usually attend a specific class around the same time, this gives you the chance to form a bond with them, and, hopefully, add them to your network circle. Also, incorporating a healthy activity with networking is a good way to maintain motivation to keep both habits going.
If you aren’t one for reading, maybe joining a language class is right for you. Learning a new language is beneficial mentally and helps you expand your horizons culturally. Language classes are an excellent way to easily chat with those around you. You usually start with basics, such as where you are from, and your occupations, then move on to other topics over time. You can easily learn about those attending the class based on its structure. You may also learn how to network in another language.
There are a number of hobbies out there to join that can benefit your networking abilities, but should not be used solely to gain clients or learn about other job opportunities. If your hobby happens to benefit your networking circle, then that is a good advantage to your career. As you network, remember to listen to the person and get to know them, and to exchange contact information with the new people in your circle.