Build Out Your Network in College for a Bright Career Later
Do you know how you’re going to land your first job after college? Perhaps you think that you’re going to go online and look at some job listings. Now, this is a very effective method. However, it can really take a lot longer than meets the eye. You are going to be competing against not only every other graduate, but people that have been in your chosen field a lot longer than you. What’s a new graduate to do?
Start networking while in college, that’s what! You have to make sure that you are going to have a clear path to getting your first job. Networking means that you will build powerful contacts that can lead you to unadvertised openings.
It’s like taking a big metropolitan city and shrinking it down to a quiet hamlet. You might not be able to weed out every single competitor, but you can make your odds a lot easier to deal with than before. Here’s how to get it done.
First and foremost, you need to stop and ask yourself something: just what makes you valuable? What honestly gives you any advantage over all of the other potential applicants for that position? What would make someone want to hire you to solve their organization’s problems? It’s not just about being a nice guy or a nice girl. It’s about hitting your target organization with a solid message: you’re someone that’s going to solve problems.
Sure, everyone likes a pleasant person, and you will definitely want to make sure that you’re being as pleasant as possible. However, there does come a time where you must make sure that you are doing more than just taking up space. We all know lots of nice people that seem to never really do anything. We have news for you: if you become one of those people, you will not have the career that you want.
From here, you need to make sure that you’re also looking at who you can help while you’re at college. College is a great time because they know that you need experience. Don’t complain about low pay, or a lot of tasks to do. This is a time where you need to be doing what you’re asked, and you also need to be asking as many questions as you can. This is a time in your life where people will pretty much realize that you aren’t going to be as well informed as you could be. Trying to pretend like you have all of the answers just makes you look arrogant. It makes a ton of sense to realize the limits of your knowledge right now.
It’s not going to make anyone angry that you don’t know what’s going on. It will, however, upset people if you act like you don’t know where to find information. Get good at finding answers, and you will not have any trouble getting people’s attention.
Finally, you need to have solid goals. Are you reaching out to a certain number of people regularly? If not, you need to make sure that you continue to raise the numbers higher and higher.
There will be times where you get discouraged when a meeting doesn’t go your way, or people feel offended that you’re actually trying to make connections. Not everyone has the same goals. Some people feel offended. It’s just a fact of life. Brush it off and keep going! Your future depends on it! 😉