How to network like a pro (podcast)

22nd February 2014

A while ago, I gave a talk at NatureJobs Career Expo in London, the UK’s largest career fair and conference for the scientific community. Find out how to network like a pro – and discover why introverts are great at networking in the podcast (8 minutes).

Networking really isn’t about business breakfasts. Nor is it about stabbing small pieces of cheese with desperation, thinking “Probably everyone else knows someone here except me.” It is simply about our readiness to say hello, to take the first step. Show your interest in other people and be curious about what they do. People won’t ignore you, be bored or think that you are stupid (common and unfounded anxieties about speaking with people we don’t know!). Saying hello is easier than you think and it’s just the start of what could be an enjoyable and fruitful conversation.

These days too, it’s not only about people you know, it’s about the people who know you! Make sure you have a positive and up-to-date online profile that allows people to know what it is that you do. It should express who you are and what you stand for in your professional life. Keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for what your connections are up to, scan for interesting initiatives and groups and for people who are doing interesting work. Get involved.

The more people who know you, the more you step forward to say hello, the more opportunities will come your way. Who knows where the next fruitful conversation might come from? Ask questions, show your interest and let people see your energy and enthusiasm. Cultivate your openness to opportunity.

And introduce people who might benefit from knowing each other too. Connecting other people is a generous act that helps everyone.

Professor Julia Hobsbawm thinks the same

Please let people know if you liked this:
University of Southampton

Coaching, teaching and employability projects to develop academic staff, students and researchers. I career coached MBA students each year and project managed the design of a massive open online course (MOOC) on Digital Marketing, attracting 17,000 learners.


Writing national guidelines to help staff manage internships and placements

St. George’s Hospital

Working on career development strategies with early career researchers

National Oceanography Centre

1-1 career coaching to develop awareness of careers outside academia

Elsevier Publishing

Working on the future of publishing with European Marketing Directors


Designing and producing online and video based learning for IBM (UK) Sales

Oxford Brookes University

Team coaching and 1-1 coaching for education professionals

Open University

Leading teams of writers and media developers to design and deliver flexible distance learning

CGI | Admiral plc | Logica plc

Working with clients to train their staff online and as Admiral’s Corporate Marketing Manager

Isle of Wight Council

Coaching and support for staff affected by change and redundancy

University College London

Designing online learning for university professionals

Land Registry

Writing and sub-editing online versions of the Land Registry Annual Report

University College of Estate Management

Consulting to other universities and working with tutors to produce online learning

Royal Agricultural University
Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities

Project management of an online course to empower patients with long term health conditions

Education consulting

“Madeline is always spot on, always reliable, great to work with.”

(Partner in a university online learning project)