We’re back! It’s been a blast chatting with you about networking and networking groups. If you missed it here’s Networking 101 (with a feature of networking groups in Chicago) and here’s Networking 102 (with a feature of networking groups in Seattle). I’m not going to spend too much time chatting about what once was, because today, we’re moving right along into Networking 103 with a feature of networking groups in Sacramento! Let’s talk about the typical networking questions that never seem to sustain the conversation and ways to replace them with some creative and informative ones.
Instead of… “So, what do you do?” Try… ”What’s your passion project?”
- I hate being asked “so, what do you do?” What does that even mean? What do I do in the mornings? At work? On the weekends? With a broad question like that you may as well ask someone to pour out their life story to you. Now passion projects, we all have them. Or if you don’t, we can at least talk about what you are passionate about. The purpose of this question is to get people talking, and while I may do a lot of things, I’m not equally passionate about them all. When someone asks me what my passion project is, the answer is simple! Photography. Which usually gets us on a conversation about how I got into, what I shoot, and where they can see my work. Before long I usually have a new lifelong IG friend.
Instead of… “What does your company do?” Try… “How does your company make a difference in the world today?”
- The thing with this question is that they ask virtually the same thing, but if you asked me to describe what Ama La Vida does, I usually say coaching. Whereas if you asked me how we’re making a difference, I would say we’re creating ways to people to love every aspect of their lives through coaching. You suddenly know a lot more about the work we do instead of the industry we’re working in.
Instead of… “What do you want to be doing in 5 years?” Try… “If you had unlimited time and resources how would you spend your days?”
- Anyone else not know what they want to be doing in 5 years? Because truthfully, I’m not always sure what I’ll be doing in 5 minutes! (You feel me on this one?) So, instead of stalling a conversation because someone doesn’t have an answer, why not ask about what keeps them going? Let’s get past the awkwardness of the unknown and lean into the things we already love doing!
Instead of… “What are your hobbies?” Try… “If you could only do one thing every day until you died, what would you do?”
- This is one of my favorites because truth be told we all have a lot of hobbies, but how many of them actually invigorate and fuel us? Chances are, not all of them. This question is a super great one that makes people come alive when they start thinking about what they would do.
Instead of… “What do you like to do in your free time?” Try… “What gets you out of bed on a Sunday Morning?”
- This question is so vague I don’t always know where to start. Are you talking about my free time at work? My free time on my commute? My free time in the evenings? The answer to all those times is sadly pretty boring, it’s usually spent scrolling social networks. But, if you’re looking to understand me as a whole, asking a question directly to free time that we all have, Sunday Mornings is a big deal. We each choose to spend Sunday mornings differently, so this is a much more insightful and deep ask. So be bold, I have faith you’ll make a more friends this way!
And lastly, instead of… “What’s your favorite part about the work you’re doing? Try… “What’s an accomplishment that makes you proud?”
- Let’s face it. We all do some cool stuff that we like to talk about, but those cool things aren’t always what make us the proudest. For me, I do lots of cool stuff, but the moments that make me feel the proudest are the little things I do! I love making our clients feel really valued and ensuring they have an amazing experience. If I can accomplish that it makes me prouder than running 15 miles, or moving to a new city, or reading 12 books. All those things are cool, but they don’t resonate with me as much as loving people well.
I want to provide one cautionary tip with all of these questions. Use them with care. The conversations that these questions will prompt will be radically different than the networking you’re used to. Only ask if you’re really ready to change the tune and get to know people in a whole new way!
Now it’s time to put all these into practice! Below are my top picks for Networking groups in Sacramento.
Group Name: WeMeet
Where You Can Find Them: WeMeet Eventbrite!
Why I like it: WeMeet is on a mission to bring social back to networking. It makes perfect sense that they are typically events hosted over happy hour to get people They meet every month and admission is free. If you’re looking to get connected to a group of focused, determined, and fun individuals grab a friend and get your name on the list!
Group Name: Broad Room
Where You Can Find Them: @broad_room
Why I like it: Broad room is a unique networking opportunity for women. There is a group that meets every Sunday to practice self-care, and they hold tons of creative events ranging from artist events, to diy’s, and so many more! They’re a community space slash creative working space slash wellness center so really you can’t go wrong checking them out.
Group Name: Urban Hive
Where You Can Find Them: Urban Hive
Why I like it: The Urban Hive hosts unique and different events/mixers for all sorts of different people groups. They embody a collective gathering space which makes it a great place to meet cool people from all types of industries. With event topics ranging from company culture to data skills they have something for everyone!
Group Name: Elevate Women
Where You Can Find Them: @elevatedwomen
Why I like it: While they don’t have any new events posted, this is a great space to stay connected in. With lots of opportunities to practice pitching ideas and public-speaking to a group of supportive women you can expect to “always be bettering” in this company! This is also a really amazing resource for women in Sacramento looking for mentorship as they take on bigger and better career goals.
Where You Can Find Them: @sacramentoladycrushers
Why I like it: The worst part about networking is that it feels really tense and awkward. Amiright? So why not go hang out with these dope women and just go rock climbing? What do you have to lose!
Group Name: Women of Sac
Where You Can Find Them: @womenofsac
Why I like it: Women of Sac is a community of women aiming to keep business local. With a big focus on women empowerment, you can join them for brunches, monthly events, and you get access to an online network full of inspiring women to keep you motivated and engaged so you can crush your goals.