Warm introductions to other women who can provide career guidance as peer mentors are a great way to network. Here are some tips and best practices to make the most of each introduction and create mutually beneficial relationships with your peers in the workforce.
Find the right time
- If you live in the same city, share your two optimal locations to meet with your three windows of availability
- If you aren’t close in location, schedule a Skype or Google Hangout
- Before meeting offline, let her know what you want to discuss and ask what she would like to discuss as well
Offer to help
- Think about what value you bring to the conversation
- After you meet, offer to help introduce her to contacts from your network
- Lend your support even if it’s just listening and talking through a hard work decision or an awesome triumph only another woman in your field would understand
- What challenges are you currently facing with your career?
- How did you first get into your shared professional interests like bus dev, UX or design?
- What keeps you motivated or inspired?
- Do you have any side projects?
- Connect across GitHub, Twitter and other social channels
- Ping her in a month just to say “Hi” and see how she’s doing
- Ask her to make any introductions in her network that can help you
The philosophy of peer mentorship encompasses the idea that everyone can help / mentor their peers. Treat your networking introductions as valuable resources for the future by insuring every meeting you have with them is beneficial to both parties. By respecting each other’s time, setting an agenda and helping each other with relevant career challenges you can easily turn an introduction into a long lasting professional relationship with real value.