Networking – Essential To Advancing Your Career
It is a generally accepted fact that you will likely get a job through who you know rather than through your education or work experience. That’s the power of networking!
These days, it’s not enough to keep your head down and produce outstanding work. You also need to connect with others, be vocal about your interests and career goals, and build relationships with people who are new to your social and professional circle.
A few strategies to get you started:
Be intentional. Networking should always be done with a purpose, and not just to collect business cards and be seen. Approach it as you approach your work: Set a goal for yourself and find the opportunity that meets that goal.
Have an icebreaker. It is socially daunting to walk up to a stranger and start conversation, no matter how confident you are. But having a line ready to go in order to generate conversation is crucial. Perhaps your opening line is as simple as: “What brings you here to this event?”
Be open about your career goals. Although you don’t want to come off as pushy or obnoxious, encourage yourself to speak up about your goals.
Follow up. If you have a productive, interesting conversation with someone at a networking event and even exchange contact information, send them a note to keep the momentum going. Mention something specific you enjoyed about speaking with the person. If you offered to connect him or her with someone else, follow through. Networking isn’t over when you leave the event.
The following websites list upcoming business events, workshops, seminars, and job fairs in the St. Louis area:
SLATE Monthly Calendar of Networking Events
SLATE Monthly Calendar of Job Fairs