Whether you’re looking to get your foot in the door or elevate your career, WHO you know may be the key.
A solid education and work experience may get you hired. However, even with extensive knowledge and dynamic skillsets, without the right people in your corner, you could find yourself stuck in a place or position which limits your opportunities to excel.
When the time comes to find a job or seek advancement opportunities, it will benefit you to have established contacts.
Networking does not have to begin with complete strangers. More than likely, you know someone who may be able to connect with you the right people to add to your network.
Face-to-face interactions are the best way for people to really get to know each other.
Yet, another valuable resource in this modern technology age are social media sites like LinkedIn. They help employers find quality candidates and offer career-seekers a place to promote their skills and work experience.
You never know when you might need your contacts, or when they may need you. Therefore, do not forget the people you connected with before landing a job. Stay in contact with them and inquire about their professional careers.
Joining a professional or volunteer organization is one way to meet people who share similar interests and may have careers which coincide with your professional goals. Plus, your involvement within the organization will enhance your professional development and likely connect you with even more professionals you can add to your network.
Keep in mind, people enjoy sharing information about their organization or career. You can learn a great deal about a career or organization through an informational interview. Before you meet, it’s wise to research the company they work for and develop a list of relevant questions.
Sample questions include:
How did you first get your start in this industry?
What was your major, and how did it help you in this field?
What are the most valued skills in the industry?
Is there anything like a “typical day”?
Can you outline a general career track for this field?
What do you look for in a prospective employee?
What advice would you give to someone seeking a career in this industry (or field)?
What is the upside and downside to a career in this area?