The What, When, Why, Who and How?
You may not know it, but you network every time you meet a new person or strike up a conversation. Networking sounds intimidating, but if you’ve ever made a friend or talked to another person while you’re in line for Starbucks – you have networked!
*Introverts: if this still sounds scary, check out our Networking for Introverts section
|Making professional friendships||Using other people|
|Sharing experience, expertise, insight and opportunities||Asking to be given a job|
|Mutually beneficial||A one-way relationship|
|Starting a conversation||Always a lifelong relationship|
- Write down names of all the people you know, regardless of connections or professions. This list could include names that your career counselor has given you, as well as extended family and your friends' parents.
- Join professional and student associations.
- Stay positive when contacting some of these individuals for an information interview. Ask for 20 minutes of their time (or longer if you invite them to lunch) to learn more about what they do professionally.
- Stay in touch! Your contacts will want an update. Also, they like to be reminded that you are still out there, looking for information and possible job leads. If you tell them you'll call, make sure you do it!
- Make sure you do not rely on only one or two people. Stay in touch with several individuals you have met with.
- Keep records - it will keep you focused and active. Note each time you are in contact with people and what kind of follow-up actions you need to take.