Image Credits: SELF

We have heard the quote a million times, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” We understand the importance of a strong network, but how do we build one? There are several easy things to start incorporating into your everyday life that could land you your dream job.

1) Always have business cards on you! I have a business card holder I keep in my purse so I always have cards with me, if I’m flying, at the chiropractor or even at Happy Hour. You never know where you might strike up a conversation with someone. Depending on the situation, when I give someone my business card I cross out my work phone number and e-mail and write my personal contact information instead.

2) Write on the back of a business card a small piece of information about them. Whether it be that their kids play hockey, they are big football fans or they just ran a marathon. When reconnecting down the line, it is incredibly useful to incorporate that piece of information you remembered. They will be extremely impressed you remembered. I have kept every business card I have ever received and keep them all in one place.

3) Send a follow up e-mail a few days later after meeting a new contact. Mention something the two of you talked about. This is also the time period to add them to your Linkedin network. Linkedin is a powerful tool, use it to your advantage.

4) Have your “elevator speech” prepared. When you are asked “What do you do,” you have one shot to keep your new connection engaged and wanting to hear more. For example instead of saying “I’m an intern at the capital,” say, “I’m a member of Senator Rubio’s team and am responsible for all aspects of his daily scheduling including: duty, duty, duty .” This sounds much more professional.

5) Attend any types of workshops or conferences and meet as many people as you can. (Don’t forget your business cards) It is so important to go to cocktail hour and meet as many people as possible. While I encourage you to make sure you don’t stay out too late, if you are invited to go out after the conference GO! Staying out an extra hour won’t kill you, just don’t get carried away.

6) Utilize your professors. Even if you don’t need the extra help, still drop by their office hours every once in awhile. Professors can provide you with powerful connections as well as be able to provide advice once you are thrown out in the real world. I have reached out to my professors after I have graduated asking for advice on contracts, salaries and trades of the business. Trust me they are eager to see you succeed. Just don’t forget to give back your time at career night and alumni events.

I wish you well as you and remember what Robert Kiyosaki says, “If you want to go somewhere, It is best to find someone who has already been there.”

Loyally,

Srat Mom
FFL C ontributor