Ways and Means

Networking

Making Connections
If you have a Facebook page, you already know how to network.
You know friends, friends of your friends, and friends of their friends.
You are fans of bands, volunteer groups, books, web sites, and events.
In other words, you know how to connect with people and this is the essential foundation for networking.

Why is networking so important
when searching for your groovy career?
Because you want to get the early lead before a job is posted on monster.com or another job board.
Because knowing someone at a company often gets you an interview before even submitting a resume.
Because a friend or neighbor can sing your praises before you even show up at the office of your potential employer.
Because sometimes employers are thinking they need help with a project and, when they find out you are available, they create a position for you.
Because not all open positions appear on Internet job sites.

So who do you know?
More people than you think.
Your high school friends and your college friends.
Your friends from camp, from volunteer activities, from summer jobs, from summer programs, from internships, from semesters or summers abroad.
Your professors, advisers, coaches, mentors, ministers, and rabbis.
Speakers who have visited your campus.
Alumni.
Career center counselors.
Your next-door neighbors at home.
Your parents’ friends.
Your parents’ golfing buddies.
Your parents’ work colleagues and former work colleagues.

How do you start?
Once you decide what types of jobs you are initially seeking and what town or city you plan to live in, make it known to your network. Email or call them. Ask your parents to talk to their friends and colleagues. Talk to your teachers and advisers. Visit the career center and the alumni center at your school. You will be surprised by what a small world this is and how many people are connected to one another.

Shy about asking for help?
Want to make it on your own?
Every successful person has had several people who have helped him or her along their way. And many of them want to pay the favor forward by assisting young people get off to a good start. People like to be helpful so give them the chance to help you. In the future, you can pay it forward – and that may be sooner than you think.

Share your ideas and strategies!
What obstacles do you need help with?
What strategies can you suggest for other groovy readers?
How are you using networking in your job search?