For Young People

Build Relationships:

How to network

Building networks with people or organisations is really useful. Networks will help you to spread your message, raise awareness about your issue or cause.

Creating networks is also a great way of tapping into the resources of other organisations or people. Using other people’s expertise will improve your own knowledge and skills. Just be aware that networks (like all relationships) can take time to develop.

Who to network with

First, think about the people and groups that your cause or issue affects. Who are they? Where are they located? Which organisations are they a part of? You can use internet forums or social media to help find them.

Tap into already existing programs and organisations. Take opportunities to join established programs or projects.

Get in touch with relevant community groups or organisations to have a chat and exchange ideas. How could you help each other? Before meeting with someone, or contacting an organisation, research what they do. This way you’ll know if they might be able to help you.

Where to network
  • Meetings

Once you’ve identified people or organisations it would be good to network with, ask if you can attend any meetings they hold. Local community or public meetings can also be good networking opportunities. You can raise your concerns or awareness about what you’re doing and see if anyone else is interested.

  • Conferences

Conferences are big meetings with speakers. A conference related to your cause or issue will attract lots of people you can network with. But be aware that conferences are often expensive to attend. Some do offer reduced admission fees for young people – contact the organisers to find out.

  • Internet

The internet can be a good way to network. You can post information about what you’re doing in forums, or contact interesting people or organisations directly using social media. For example, The Exchange is a place for young Victorians to connect and share ideas for making change.

Here are some networking tips
  • When meeting someone for the first time, introduce yourself and describe your project, event or activity in a short, easily understandable way (you might want to think about how you’d do this before meeting someone).
  • Ask for their views or ideas about the cause or issue.
  • Ask what they do. Try and show what your causes or issues have in common.
  • Ask what you can do to help them with their goals and how you might work together.
  • Thank them for time and ask for their contact details (if appropriate). Give them your contact details or a one-page print out of what you're trying to achiveve (you'll obviosuly need to plan and bring this with you!).
What you can do now

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