Despite popular belief, we still live in a day and age where it’s not WHAT you know; it’s WHO you know. Jade Jackson shares her networking advice to get you connected to the right person and closer to your dream job.
I’ve always been eager to land an opportunity. Any brunch, dinner, or networking event, I am there in somebody’s face, shaking somebody’s hand and ready with my elevator pitch.
But for those who aren’t used to networking, there can be a question of, “How do you do it?” How do you set yourself apart or put yourself out there? The answer to that may come easy to me, but passing that same energy and talent onto others takes an explanation.
The fear of failure and rejection in networking environments tends to rule us when it comes to taking a big leap toward our goals. Fear of initiation is something that can hinder you, but it can also be motivation.
For my last role, I sought out and held a summer position at CBS 11. But the road to get there was paved with hard work. Here’s how networking helped me land that job:
Join an Organization.
Organizations are always a smart start. I joined the Broadcast Education Association to get a leg up on networking with professionals in the field. The group brought in local journalists to my campus to give students insight into the field. One of the speakers, who would be pivotal to my future role, was a CBS 11 news reporter.
Plan to Show Up.
At the time, I didn’t have a car, so I had to be serious about making plans to show up. If I landed this job, I would have to take a train and an Uber to make it there. Before I put myself out there as a candidate, I made a plan to make sure I could show up every day. Half of taking the initiative is making sure you’re ready to show up.
Look for Opportunities
When the time to apply for the gig rolled around, I was already a part of another great organization that hosted networking events. Through this second organization, I met my future boss one fateful evening. Some would call it luck meeting him before I applied, but you can’t be lucky if you never show up. After applying, I planned to send a follow up email to express my eagerness to apply. But my future boss beat me to it. We set up an interview, and the rest from there is history.
Put Your Mind to It
Since I was a child, telling me “no,” goes in one ear, and out the other. Before I submitted my application, I my peers and professors kept saying maybe I wasn’t ready for this job. They brought up the fact that I didn’t have a car, I had financial woes, and other responsibilities that I couldn’t ignore. But I told myself that I was ready for this. I kept those words glued in the back of my mind to make me more sure of myself.
The best advice I could give about networking is to remember it like this:
You are fisher in a sea of opportunity. The fish swimming around you are just waiting to be caught. You just have to answer this question- Are you ready to catch your big fish?
Want more from Jade?
Connect with her at jadethegreat.co.