On Tuesday of this week, the Portland Experiencers got a treat from Linda Williams, an Assistant Director at the University of Oregon. Like many of my fellow students, I have an idea of what to do once I graduate, but I still need help (and have a ton of questions) about what I need to do to put myself in the best spot possible to succeed. Linda spoke to us about one of the most important parts of job hunting post-college: Networking. Networking is so important in our field because most businesses look to their networks to hire new employees. Not only will they not have to read a hundred resumes but they will also have the confidence that this person who was recommended by someone they know will succeed.
So how do I network? Before I really got into learning how to network I always thought networking meant calling potential employers and getting them to know me. This is not the best way (or only way) to network. It is important to contact businesses you are interested in and setting up informational interviews, but I learned that your network can grow even when you don’t expect it. For example, I had to help out a neighbor by walking a ladder over to their house. They were very gracious and began to talk to me about my career and classes. After awhile I learned that she has some friends in an agency that would love to talk with me. Simple. Easy. Painless. Like Josh always tells my class, it doesn’t cost you anything to be nice. This is very true and just remember that even when you aren’t consciously networking, you just might be networking after all.