Friday, December 7, 2012

Networking: Put yourself out there!

Last month after boarding my flight to Kansas City for a family reunion, I began to think about the diversity of people sitting around me on the airplane, including the different places they are traveling and the reasons for their trips.  As an extravert, I occasionally find myself striking up conversations with fellow passengers and discussing a variety of topics from where they are going and the book that they are reading to learning about their job and hearing stories about their friends and families. 
As my bad traveling luck would have it, prior to taking off to Kansas City the pilot realized one of the computers was not functioning properly.  As a result we sat in the airplane and airport for an extra two hours.  While this time was filled with much grumbling from individuals on the plane, it also allowed me to get know some of the people around me.  Specifically, I talked in-depth with an IT consultant from Kansas City, a hotel director from San Diego, and an individual working for a professional sports organization in Milwaukee.  While this may seem like a random group of individuals, our conversations allowed me to learn a lot about their different lines of work.  Specifically, my conversation with the gentlemen from Milwaukee included discussing employees that work for him and their connections to Marquette. After explaining my role as a career counselor at Marquette, he stated that in the past Marquette students served as interns within his office.  At the end of the flight, I exchanged business cards with him and told him I would be in contact to further discuss potential internship opportunities that exist for students.  

While this may seem like a random chain of events, the moral of this story is that, in order to meet people that may help you with the job search, it is important to put yourself out there.  If you find talking to a stranger intimidating, you may want to begin with having a conversation with a friend or family member who works in a particular industry that you want to learn more about. Furthermore, they may know other individuals that can help you.  If you are already job searching, you may consider passing a resume along to individuals working within that field of interest.  Even if that individual does not know of any current job openings, they may have position open up in the near future or be aware of other companies that are hiring.  You never know who may be able to help you!
For more tips to becoming an effective networker, see the following link that Jeremy Eudaly mentioned in Networking in 7 Simple Steps. These steps can help you put yourself out there and become an effective networker. 

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