A Guide to Networking

Networking can seem so hard — but not if you have the right advice. Try taking advantage of weak ties; you never know what friend of a friend of a friend can aid you in your dreams.

Some networking tips:

Start talking.

Don’t hold your cards close to your chest and start talking about where you want to work . Immediate family, close friends, relatives and careers councellors are a great place to start. While they may not have direct access to the industry you are interested in, chances are they’ll have a contact who knows someone they can put you in touch with.

Get involved and get your face out there.

Not every path is an easy one to take, which is why you can’t expect things to happen by sitting in your bedroom watching television. Scan the internet for local events and careers fairs that you might be able to attend with your parents or careers councillor. These are the kinds of places where you can meet people with heaps of knowledge and experience, don’t be afraid to ask questions like ‘how did you break into the industry?’ and ‘what advice can you offer me?’ Let them know it is your passion too. Volunteering is another great way to get involved in the industry and to work with people that can create links to opportunities.

Be enthusiastic and positive.

If someone you’ve spoken to or contacted offers to catch up for a chat, say YES. This shows them you truly are interested and you never know what opportunities can arise.

Be persistent and practice.

For some people, networking is a piece of cake. For others it takes a few goes to build your confidence and that’s perfectly normal. Like with anything, you will get better at talking to people as you go. You might get knock-backs and find that some people brush you off, but don’t let that stop you, eventually you will meet someone that can help you progress.

Watch this video below as Lisa Green Chau outlines how being proactive and always saying yes can lead to future opportunities.