One of the greatest resources you have is your network – family, friends, and social connections who you have built trusted relationships with over time. These people care about your well-being and would be happy to help you make new connections if it assists your progress toward your goals.
The common maxim that “it is not what you know, but who you know” rings true when making professional connections. Look to your network for help in expanding your connections.
Analyze your network using the following steps.
Identify the primary groups you belong to, which may include:
- Academic connections (professors, advisors)
- Work connections
- Community and volunteer connections
- Social and fraternal organizations
- Social media network (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
Print a copy of the relationship map below and designate an area on the map for each group. If you belong to more than four groups, you can use duplicate pages to continue mapping your connections.
Place the names of those you know best, like your immediate family members and best friends, in the applicable inner circle.
Let these individuals know about your career search. Provide them with information about your specific career aspirations, as well as your background, strengths, passions, and other information you have amassed as part of your exploration through CareerAdvisor.
Ask them to think about whom they know who might be a good connection to have during your career search. Consider the questions below to guide your conversation. Then map relevant names in the outer circle of your relationship map.
- Who do they know?
- What expertise do they hold?
- What organizations are they affiliated with?
- How could I become introduced to them?
This activity will ease some of those uncomfortable conversations where you are asking others to help you in your search. It will allow your network members to see how serious and prepared you are and can open up opportunities for mutual benefit. Once your network is engaged, you will have multiple people on alert for the right fit for you – which can exponentially increase your odds of finding a great career opportunity.