Posted in: Living Posted on: Jul 15th, 2016

Networking in Houston: Here’s Where to Start

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How do you find a job when living in a new area? While you might have some luck applying to positions online or cold calling companies, you might find that old fashioned networking in Memorial Heights, Houston is key to learning more about opportunities and getting your foot in the door. A number of organizations in the area focus on helping people get their careers off of the ground or on helping more seasoned professionals take the next step career-wise. Here's how to network like a pro, even if you're new in town.

Tips for Great Networking

Networking can be a tricky thing, and a lot of people get it wrong. The trick to successfully networking is forming a connection with another person, and you can't do that if you make it clear from the start that you're only looking out for yourself. One of the best ways to network is to find a way you can help another person. If you want to get your foot in the door at a non-profit, find out about volunteer opportunities first. Pay attention to the needs of prominent people in your industry, then try to come up with effective ways to meet those needs. You want your connections to remember you as the person who helped them, not the person who handed them resumes or business cards.

For Young Professionals

Although forming relationships with people in positions of power is useful for your career success, so is bonding with your peer group. Young professional organizations give you a chance to chat and mingle with other professionals in your general age bracket.

For example, Texas Young Professionals offers networking opportunities for people in their 20s through 40s in Houston. The goal of the organization is to help empower its 60,000 members to become leaders in the business community. The group is open to professionals in all industries, and members work in law, finance, and tech, for example.

The Heights Young Professionals Organization is a branch of the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce. It's open to Chamber of Commerce members who either live, work or play in the Greater Heights area. Although it is technically for young professionals, the group lets in people who are "young at heart," as well. It hosts a monthly happy hour, in addition to other events throughout the year.

Female-Focused Networking

Some networking groups are focused on helping women meet. The Houston branch of Women Helping Women 2 Network has 12 meetings throughout the city each month, including one in Memorial Heights. Events vary at each location, but typically range from gatherings over coffee to lunch.

Finally, the Federation of Houston Professional Women aims to connect women from a variety of professional organizations. It works as an extension of other networking organizations by providing partnership and mentorship opportunities throughout the city. Member organizations of the FHPW include the American Women's Society of CPAs, Council of Business Women, and Memorial Women's Business Network, among many others.

What are your tips for networking in Houston?