Networking isn't just about passing your business card to someone and the promise of a new deal. Networking is about building a group of people who will offer advise, challenge your perspective, and recommend you to prospective new clients or potential future employers.
It doesn't have to take the form of awkward small-talk in a bar; in fact, some of the best networks will be organically grown just through socialising more. Here are seven opportunities that you may have passed up recently, and should reconsider next time.
1. Actually booking something in when you say "we should grab a coffee sometime!"
It's happened to the best of us. Does anyone really mean "let's go for coffee?" or is it just a polite thing to say to someone you've briefly met? Just do it. Most people are nervous about asking because they're afraid of rejection, but use that mindset to your advantage. If you ask, chances are they'll say yes. You can make a joke out of how no one seems to actually do this, and get a date scheduled in. Easy.