Network It, Girl

We’re all looking for new jobs or better jobs. We send out masses of emails, browse dozens of job listings, write handfuls of follow-up emails, and we beat the sidewalks, tirelessly searching for opportunities to meet us halfway. While we’re exhausting ourselves, we find that some of our friends seem to gain employment effortlessly, even though we’d consider ourselves far more qualified, far more personable… and far more intelligent. Our resumes summarize our education and experience, and our cover letters, in our opinion, distinguish us from the rest. Yet, success eludes us, like many, and we’d like to know what our friends are doing, that we simply aren’t.

When you were younger, you might have heard people say, “It isn’t what you know, but who you know.” That statement has more validity than you’d like to admit. Most up-incomers are achieving success by being someone’s bedside fellow or someone’s bosom buddy; so if you aren’t rubbing elbows, then you’re missing out.

Many are making use of their connections: some of them use their family ties; some use friendships that they formed in college; some use former employers in which they still have positive relations; and some simply are able to talk to the right people at the right time. The truth is that it’s hard to make the right connections, especially when you don’t know where to begin. This process can be easier, though, if taken one step at a time:

Step One: Be bold, confident and engaging anytime you find yourself in a situation that may stand to be an opportunity for fundamental, financial or career growth.

Step Two: Have your personal pitch ready. In case you run into a CEO, manager or person of influence from a company you’re interested in, learn how to sell yourself in a way that will not only make you stand out, but showcases your experience –and how that experience will influence your future.

Step Three: Get a business card. There’s nothing more sleek and prepared than a person who has her contact information on hand and ready for distribution. Imagine what it says to possible employers that you are always prepared to connect with people and seize new opportunities.

Step Four: Respect the dynamics of the situation. If you realize it’s an inopportune time to talk about business or anything of that nature –then make a clear and concise statement about your purpose, who you are, and distribute a business card for future contact.

The goal of successful networking skills is to not only being able to find a job, but to create a net of possibilities that span into different areas of interest. Well-meaning contacts can create ease when applying to colleges, applying to jobs, sharing creative endeavors, marketing and party planning.

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