Imagine if the job industry was designed like a lottery. A number of random names on cards thrown into a bucket, some mixing and shaking by one of those blindfolded assistants and voila! Congratulations Mike, you are now the lucky winner of the vacant Head of Operations position. If wishes were horses, save me a star to wish on.
Sadly, this is not the situation. Like a house, a career is built from the ground up. Unlike a house, you cannot buy it to renovate. To get a job or simply advance your career, you need the right connections. That’s the long and short of it. You start as a single person and just like a spider, weave your web of professionals and before you know it, you have this priceless mosaic of leads and referrals.
Some people are good at this. They attend corporate galas and all of a sudden, they are in touch with the top brass. However, these events tend to be expensive and only a few can afford to get past the doors. Your journey need not start on such lofty origins, here are the alternative places you can achieve the same results.
For just this one time, drop your capitalistic utopist approach to things and look beyond the money. While volunteering sounds like free labor, you can pay yourself by exchanging contacts with any professionals you will find interesting while working on the project.
2. Attend product launches and public events
Most of the time, product launches attract the best people in the industry or in the company. Try and get in touch with these people. Be brave and try to access the backstage or catch up with them before the event starts or immediately after it ends. Remember, it could be the only chance you get, so pitch yourself like it’s the last time.
It took some time for the local professionals to warm to it but now it’s the place to be! Open an account and spruce up your CV. Connect with relevant professionals and you’ll reap the benefits.
4. Participate in product surveys
This is one of the little networking niches that very few people explore. It’s effortless and most of the time, all your expenses are taken care of. Go the extra mile and try to network with as many people in the company as you can. They might retain you or even refer you somewhere.
5. Attend career fairs
Yes, we know you are a very busy person. Yes, we know there’s this bash you are supposed to attend, and you cannot miss it as long as you are still occupying this earth vertically. What you don’t know is that there is a career goldmine at that career fair being hosted at your campus and you are missing out!
Don’t just show up at the company or organization you are interviewing for and disappear. Hang around after the interview and get to connect with people. Don’t be afraid to ask for the interviewer’s contacts and keep in touch with them even if you were unsuccessful.
7. Alumni events
After graduation, everyone took a different path. They have got a vast amount of experience and the only place that you’ll get to reconnect with a lot of your classmates is at alumni events. Don’t skip these events and while there, make sure to catch up with as many people as you can.
Remember to always keep in touch with your networks after getting their contacts otherwise it’ll be out of sight, out of mind!