Earlier this week, I talked about the value to you and your company of networking inside the organization. I’m guessing some readers did a lot of head nodding, while other readers did a lot of head scratching.

Networking, while a well-known topic, is not a well understood practice–especially, when the focus is on networking inside a company. In fact, employees in every organization in which I’ve worked have told me, straight-faced, that there are no networking opportunities at their jobs.

Nonsense. I’ve got 12 sure fire spots to get you started.The following 12 places are great opportunities to have conversations with peers, managers, and leaders:

  1. Internal events, e.g., town halls, quarterly business meetings, and all-hands meetings
  2. Cafeteria and coffee/tea bars
  3. Tech bars
  4. Employee resource or affinity groups
  5. Volunteerism events and activities
  6. Department milestone celebrations
  7. Cross-functional project teams
  8. Internal speaker and panelist events
  9. Lunch ‘n learns
  10. Training and development classes
  11. Wellness groups, e.g., walking clubs
  12. Celebrations for promotions, new roles/responsibilities, retirements

If you’re new to the practice, use these venues to connect with people you’re familiar with, say, your manager or co-workers. Once you’re comfortable, expand your reach to include other colleagues from different areas and levels of the company.

If you have more ideas about work places to network, I’d like to hear them!