Who do you know?
As you’ve likely been told, networking is a must. Not only does it strengthen your relationships and help you build connections, but it also helps to build your knowledge base of the working world.
The more people you meet, the more understanding you will have of various industries, job functions, companies, geographic locations, etc. But it’s not just the quantity of people you meet, it’s the quality of your time spent talking with them! So what’s the secret? Show interest in others by asking prompting questions, demonstrate that you’re listening by asking follow-up questions, and keep your chat conversational (as opposed to an interrogation!).
Networking comes in all forms – informational interviews, alumni networking events (or other events), or professional associations, to name a few. A good resource to help you get started is our webshop: Building a Stronger Network: Tips for Informational Interviews and an Introduction to Career Connections.
As you go into the Thanksgiving break, try to talk with at least one person about their career. It can be a brand new contact, or someone at your dinner table with whom you haven’t yet ventured into this topic. Regardless, do your best to spend most of the conversation talking about them – you never know how it may influence your career planning later!
~Gwen Miller, associate director, career development