I hear about networking all the time, but it is proving difficult. I’m shy to begin with, which doesn’t help much when trying to contact people. Do you have any advice from building a network from scratch when you don’t know anyone and are having trouble even finding names?
- Join a professional organization geared to your industry or geared towards your gender or interests. After doing some research, I think you will be surprised at how many organizations you could join, you won’t have time for all of them!
- Google the company you want to work for, find someone who works there and find them on linkedin. If you have a mutual connection, you may be able to send them a message requesting an informational interview. You also may be able to find their phone number or email address from google.
- Go to your university career center and ask for contact information for alumni that are working in your target industry. Email professors and former classmates to see if they have anyone you can reach out to. This is also a great way not to lose touch with people you may not see very often.
- Think of all the colleagues and friends that you don’t really know very well and ask them to go to lunch. Learn more about what they do and then share your goals with them to see if they have any advice or people they can introduce you to.
- If you are too far away to do in person interviews with people at the company you want to work for, ask for a 15 minute phone interview instead. Sometimes phone interviews are actually preferred by executives because they take much less time in their busy schedules.
How are you going to find people to network with?