Networking is ever more important because of the current disruption to the job market and to work life. Networking can provide you a way to stay motivated, gain helpful advice, and can potentially lead to the opportunities you are searching for.
This week, in partnership with the Cal State LA Career Development Center, I will be sharing a daily tip for how to network. These are tips that I have learned through the Career Development Center, mentors, and career advisors that I have connected with on LinkedIn. I'm excited to share them with you and I hope that they help you on your career journey.
Tip #1: Have a specific and attainable goal in mind.
If you have a direct and detailed goal, it makes it easier for people to help you. The people that you contact should be able to help you or connect you with someone who can. Read more about tip #1.
Tip #2: Find Someone through Interests or Mutual Connections
Find someone through a mutual connection with a career trajectory, job position, and or company that interests you. LinkedIn can provide a lot of great information for an initial search but I recommend that you look them up to see if they have had any articles written about them or if they have a website. Your search can bring up a genuine point of interest for you to bring up when you reach out. Read more about tip #2.
Tip #3: Engage Through Your Research
When reaching out, mention something that you found out during your search that caught your attention. Flattery can be nice but try not to go overboard as it can come across as disingenuous and off-putting. Most people don't feel comfortable being treated with too much deference. And if they do, that might not be someone that you could build a genuine relationship with. Read more about tip #3.
Tip #4: Listen and Ask Questions to Get to Know Them
Once you reach out, take the time to learn about the person you contacted before you make your ask. Networks are built through connections. Connections are personal so make it personal by getting to know who they are and how they got to where they are. Read more about tip #4.
Tip #5: Stay in touch
This is the critical last step. It is important to keep reaching out after that initial contact. I suggest a follow up 2 weeks after to let them know how you are doing and to ask what they are up to. You can reach out much sooner if they gave you some advice that required you to take some concrete actions to let them know how it worked out or if any questions arose. This is the step in the networking process that builds and solidifies relationships. Don't miss this one! Read more about tip #5.