What is networking? It’s no more and no less than talking to people you already know and people you’d like to know. While the fear of introducing yourself to a complete stranger may give you nightmares for a month, with a little practice, and if you start somewhere easy, you’ll be networking in no time — and likely have a new job.
- Are you a student or recent grad? Start by telling your family and friends what you are going to school for and what you hope to do with your degree. Ask if they know anyone in the field you are seeking to enter and set up an informational interview. Be prepared for an in-depth conversation — ask our mutual friend Google for more info if you need it!
- Are you a professional looking for a change? Telling your entire network that you are looking for a new gig can be tough if you are currently employed and don’t want the word to be around town by 5 p.m. — but you can still work your connections carefully! Think of close friends who are in the field you are aiming for and grab a coffee. You will never get ahead if you don’t put yourself out there at least a little bit!
- Volunteer. This is a great way to add to your resume AND grow your network at the same time. You will meet individuals with similar interests who likely know of opportunities just waiting for you. Reach out to an organization or visit unitedway.org for ideas!