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Mamamia editors dish out their networking secrets to take you from 9 to Thrive.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your career is to surround yourself with supportive, inspiring people. Having a tribe who can bring out the best in you, and help you get to where you want to go, is one of the most valuable investments you can make, both on a professional and personal level.

There are many ways you can reach out and meet people; it all comes down to the power of networking. In this day and age, your ability to mingle with the best of them can have profound consequences on your success and happiness.

We spoke to some of the Mamamia staff about how to improve your networking skills and create meaningful, supportive relationships within your industry.

Kate de Brito – Editor.

Networking is an essential part of any job. It’s not only about helping you spot career opportunities but also about building relationships that can support you in your job and in achieving your goals.

Tip 1: Take the first step. You can’t build an impressive contact book and good relationships in a day. Start small and don’t expect to have immediate success. The more you work at developing and maintaining relationships the stronger they will become.

Tip 2: Work out what you need. Before you head into a situation, ask yourself what you want. Mentoring, advice, feedback on your industry, good contacts, a new job? Know what you are looking for before you begin. Different situations and different people can foster different outcomes. 

"Networking is an essential part of any job." Image: supplied.

Mia Freedman - Co-founder and Creative Director.

The word 'networking' makes me shudder involuntarily. It sounds so insincere even though I understand its value. I make a habit of reaching out to congratulate other women on promotions or new jobs. I also, instinctively, always reach out to support a woman who is in the firing line of social media outrage or a nasty media story because I know what that's like and it can feel horribly lonely.

I'm very much led by my gut and my emotions on this. The worst thing you can do is ask someone more senior than you, who you don't know, to "go for coffee". Nobody has time for coffee.

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Mia advises going with your gut. Image: supplied.

Monique Bowley - Podcast Director.

Tip 1: Don't think of it as 'networking': think of it as just connecting with other people in your field. I think the word 'networking' can be a roadblock sometimes: you worry about having to act a certain way, look a certain way, put out a vibe.  If you consider it like a catch up with people in your field it can take all the pressure out of it and you can enjoy it.

Tip 2: Think about how you can help the other person – so many people think networking is about what they can get out of it, but the best networkers are the ones that help other people get what they need. There's nothing worse than a one-sided conversation at a networking event where the other party is just all about themselves. Yuk, spread the conversation love, and be genuinely interested in what other people are doing.

Tip 3: Don't check your phone, or have your phone in your hand while you are talking to someone at a networking event. The mere presence of a phone can interrupt a genuine connection between parties. So put it down, put it away, be present, and listen. It's good manners. Instead, have something else in your hand – a drink, even just a water.  You won't be tempted to fidget, and your hands will be occupied so you're not tempted to check your phone.

"Think of it as just connecting with other people in your field." Image: supplied.

For your opportunity to network with Mia, Kate and Monique, make sure you get yourselves to 9 to Thrive in Sydney on August 19-20 or in Melbourne on September 2-3 where they’ll be speaking.

9 to Thrive is far from your average expo. Presented by Business Chicks, it’s two days of inspiring panels, keynotes and workshops with some of Australia’s most influential women like Zoe Foster Blake, Michelle Bridges and Donna Hay. It will also have pop up shops, food trucks and over 100 exhibitions to keep you entertained between sessions. So saddle up and get your tickets here.

9 to Thrive is excited to be giving all Mamamia readers an exclusive 20% discount on all tickets. To claim your discount, simply enter the code MAMAMIA20 at the checkout.

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