How do quick start a career that you love? Maybe you have a vision, a passion, an idea of where you want to go, but you’re not quite certain how to get there. This is where making the right connections comes in.
There’s a big difference between aimless networking and intentional networking. Needless to say, it’s key you make the right connections for the career path you’re pursuing.
So how do you make a connection, and then maintain it? Here are five steps you can take to meet the right connections, and foster beneficial work relationships to get your career started!
1. Determine Your Sharable Value
It might not always feel like it, but everyone has value to give to everyone else. If you know what value you present to others, you’ll be able to connect more easily and confidently. This could be something as small as finding something in common (for example, maybe you and the person you’re connecting with went to the same college). It could also mean offering a favor such as a link to an article, sharing information, giving them a referral.
2. Build A List
In order to connect, you should make a list of those you want to or should reach out to. And not just any list — an extensive list! Write down everyone who could possibly be a connection, even if they seem out of reach. The more people you have on the list, the less daunting it will actually be. Think about it this way: if you only have five people, you feel pressure to reach out to all of them. The longer your list, the less pressure you’ll feel, and the easier it’ll be to reach out. And maybe you will end up reaching out to those out-of-reach people. You never know! But having a list will at least give you somewhere to start.
3. Attend Networking Events
Did you know 85% of people find jobs through networking? Clearly, you want to take advantage of this. And what better place to network than events? Maybe you have a friend or coworker that needs a plus one to a conference or talk. Maybe you took to Google and found networking events near you. Whatever the case, put yourself out there and connect with as many people as you can. Bring business cards, talking points, and your best smile. This will help put you on the path of making the right connections!
4. Use LinkedIn
When it comes to networking, social media is your friend. LinkedIn is an especially great tool for reaching out to connections you’ve met at networking events or through your peers. Shoot them a quick message, making sure you give detail as to why you’re reaching out and how you know them. After all, keeping in touch is key to cultivating and maintaining relationships.