As CEO of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold CBE presides over a retail empire that generates more than £100m in annual sales. She is regularly cited as one of Britain’s richest women.
Despite her many professional accolades, Gold still expresses an early career regret.
“If there was one regret I have in my career, it was not networking my socks off,” Gold said on Yahoo Finance UK’s Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded show.
“Every time you go to an event you have an opportunity to change your life, you have an opportunity to meet somebody new that can make a difference, that can influence you, take you in a new direction.”
Gold advised anyone looking to make the most out of networking to do their research beforehand.
“Carefully select the events that you think are going to benefit you,” Gold said. “Look at who is attending, look at who is speaking, look at who in advance that you want to meet with. Engage with them beforehand so that when you do go, you have got a reason to go over and engage, so it’s not awkward.”
Gold said to bear in mind that networking events are not about immediately “sealing the deal.”
“It’s about building relationships so when you actually leave, the next day you should be then re-engaging, arranging for a coffee,” Gold said. “I think if you do all these things and overcome the barriers that make it difficult in going in the first place you will suddenly realise the huge benefit that they bring.”
Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded explores the journeys of some of the world’s most inspirational women across business, tech, and academia. Catch up on all the latest episodes here.