Speaking at Inspirefest 2016, Kelly Hoey, investor at Laconia Capital, spoke of her disdain for the word ‘networking’. However, she is enthusiastic about what it stands for.

Citing three tips for people looking to forge a new career, building expertise, networks and bank balances are key for Kelly Hoey.

Starting a new job, and changing jobs, can be stressful. Changing entire industries, and forging a new path is perhaps even more stressful. However, there are ways to make it easier, according to Hoey.

Detailing how she negotiated five key dates in her adult life – three graduations and two career changes, each time during a recession – Hoey’s three-step solution to career building was basic and effective.

“I really did think long and hard in terms of what you could learn from me,” she said.

But her story related to more people than she perhaps thought. Wanting to change the word ‘networking’, Hoey lamented the reality that we are, unfortunately, “stuck with it”.

“Networking is actually just human relationships and people,” she said. “It’s not a platform, it’s not an app. Relationships are what drive economies, ideas and create possibilities.”

Words by Gordon Hunt