Networking On & Off the Screen

by Cathy Paper Bottern on May 21st, 2010

I like people. I like to make connections and I like to be connected. I don't really like the word networking but it is more standard for relationship building in business so that's how I title presentations.

Yesterday I spoke to students and soon to be graduates at Brown College about how to build and nuture a network whether you are looking for a job or a mentor.

Here are a few key nuggets:
1. Find someone from every generation to be in your network. There is so much wisdom at every level. The perspectives of someone older or younger is amazing.

2. Be planful. Why are you are you networking? What is your goal? What is their goal? How might you be able to help them grow their business. Think about them first and you'll go further with your own goals in the long run, but ideally expect nothing in return.

3. Volunteer. Now more than ever non-profits need help. If you can't find a job, your experience is limited or you are stuck in a rut, get out and volunteer. Showcase your skills. Give your all. You'll feel good and the organization will beenefit. You never know where it will lead.

4. Use the social media tools. Get smart on what they are and how they work. Facebook, linked in, youtube, twitter, flicker etc. You can teach others what you know and you can get involved in groups, clubs and organizations to expand your reach beyond who you think you know. For example, your best friend's mom may work at Toro and since you've graduated it might be a good time to reconnect. Or, by following the people who talk about radio broadcasting on twitter, you can learn what stations may have big event coming up that they need extra help planning and implementing.Timing is everything.

Those are just a few, but if you practice them, remain politie and positive and are genuine about your enthusiasm to learn new skills people will be drawn to you.Happy Graduation.

P.S. Here's a shot of the Carlson School Entrepreneurs In Action advisory board that I volunteered on. The team made a great product to make smelly clothes in sports bags less smelly, check it out at karbon.

Posted in Sports, job search, career    Tagged with Brown College, Carlson School, Networking, job search, Social Media


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