After graduating, comes the real world, or at least we hope. Some students have to keep waiting tables while working at internships until they meet that special someone that will give them a chance and help them jump-start their career. But just how do you meet that someone?
Networking is a crucial thing for anyone starting and continuing on in their careers (read networking tips for nurses). It can help you land a new job, make new deals or sales, find employees and clients, and meet some really great people in your industry.
Aside from keeping in touch with your former classmates and getting information from your school’s career services, here are some ways that can help you network for your aspiring career.
- Join a professional network or organization. LinkedIn is an online professional network that allows recruiters and employers to find you. It also helps you connect to other professional organizations and people in your industry. Check out these tips on how to improve your LinkedIn network.
- Ask your friends, family members and acquaintances to connect you to people they may know in your industry. It never hurts to ask and keep asking.
- Be aggressive. If you’re wanting to work for a specific company, look it up in the internet and find someone that works in the department you want to work in and connect to them on LinkedIn. Send them a message and introduce yourself. Ask them about any job opportunities and to keep you in mind if anything opens up.
- Get in contact with people from your alumni association. Your career services center should have a list of people who are in your industry and may be able to help. Professors and former classmates are also a great contact.
- Reach out to colleagues and friends you don’t know very well and take them to lunch. Share your goals and ideas with them and let them know your career goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for career advice also.
- Search blogs, twitter, Facebook and any other social media network and connect with people and companies who have the same interest as you.
- Attend workshops and conferences geared toward your career like nursing conferences. Ask people for their business cards and send them an email or give them a call the following week. Be sure to let them know what your goals are and see if they know anyone who can help you.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet people. Someone saying ‘no’ is the worst thing that could happen to you, right? So, go ahead and get your networking started. The more you meet people, the easier it gets.
Leave a comment and let us know how you meet people in your field of study.