Career Advice for the Class of 2015

class graduatingThe future is bright with the promise of new technology, innovation, and creativity. But none of that would be possible without a pipeline full of new prospects.

Five to ten years from now, all of today’s great young talent will be the driving power behind the workforce. So how should they get there?

Today, we’re going to discuss career advice for those who are just gearing up to start their careers: the class of 2015. Take a look below:

Read More

Choosing the Right Connections for Your Network (Part II)

web

Networking requires more than just knowing an abundance of people. If you want to have a successful network that will do wonders for your career, you need to make sure you take the time to know the right people. Doing so will help ensure the best outcome possible, in terms of career progression and growth.

On Tuesday, we gave you the mentor, the expert, and the outsider. Today, we’ll talk about the other essential people you need to have in your network. Take a look below:

The colleague. Friends are always there to have your back, and no friend is more important than a colleague when you need help on the job, whether it has to do with a huge project, or covering for a family emergency. Having a colleague who will look out for you is essential. Colleagues can also be great advocates and references when you are looking to move up, so make sure you always have one on deck.

The client. The benefit of havingclients in your network extends a lot further than just buying your goods or services. Building a strong relationship with your clients can do wonders for your networking because they give you an insider perspective on what other customers may want, as well as a great resource for referrals to other customers/clients who may be in need of your services.

The thought-leader (innovator). Finally, find someone who is always looking for the next big thing. Whether they’re in your field or not, having someone in your network who values progression and is always trying to push the envelope is definitely a great asset. Not only will it help to broaden your perspective on big picture thinking, but it will also hopefully push you to think beyond your everyday tasks and innovate yourself.

What do you think about our list of connections? Are there any other kinds of people you think are absolutely necessary to have in your network? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

Choosing the Right Connections for Your Network (Part I) 

ice field

Last week, we talked a bit about why networking matters for your career.

As we mentioned, networking is an essential part in most, if not all, of people’s careers.

In part two of the series, we briefly mentioned the importance of choosing a tight-knit group of people that you should keep in your network. Since doing so is so essential, we thought it would only make sense for us to go into further detail and give you an outline on the kinds of people you should consider keeping in your network.

For today, we’ll just give you a few. Take a look below:

The mentor. The mentor is perhaps one of the most essential people to have in your network. At one point or another, everyone needs some guidance when it comes to their career. Having a mentor who will always have your back is one of the best ways to help you grow into the successful person you want to be, so do your best to find a mentor and stick with them.

The authority/expert. Similar to the mentor, an authority or expert in the field is there to help you learn. The main difference, however, is that what you learn from them is specialized, whereas a mentor’s influence can extend beyond that. Having this kind of person around is great for helping you hone in on the necessary skills that will help you become an expert in the field yourself, which can definitely be a plus when someone ends up coming to you for the same kind of help.

The outsider. While it might seem strange to have someone in your network who isn’t working in your field, the truth is, they can end up making a bigger impact than you’d think. The outsider is someone who may not exactly know the specifics of your field, but that kind of third-party perspective may be just what you need in order to understand how others view what you are doing. Not only that, but having an outsider in your network can also help you become familiar with a whole new field, giving you the opportunity to learn more and gain a broader perspective.

On Thursday, we’ll continue our discussion by giving you the rest of our list of essential people you need to have in your network. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: subarcticmike via photopin cc

Why Networking Matters for Your Career (Part II)

networking

In part one of our post on networking, we talked a little bit about the big impact networking can make on your career.

As we mentioned, networking has a lot of big perks, from bringing opportunities to you and helping you make opportunities of your own, to helping you gain knowledge and a broader perspective that will help shape who you are, professionally and otherwise.

But knowing the “why” doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to know how to network successfully, which is why we are going to help you by breaking it all down.

Here are some of our tips for good networking:

  • Think small. It’s not always knowing a lot of people that will necessarily help you when networking. Rather, focus on knowing the right people who will help go in the direction you’d like. Doing so will not only help you maintain your goal, but also ensure that you maintain the friendships that matter to you the most, which definitely isn’t the case when you have so many people you can hardly keep up with them all.
  • Keep in touch. That brings us to our next point: try your best to keep in touch. Nothing is worse than having to ask someone you barely talk with to help with a big favor. We’re not saying you need to be in touch with the person everyday, but the more often you get together, the better. Plus, if it is someone you really have a lot in common with who is willing to go that extra mile for you, then we think networking and maintaining that friendship is a definite win-win.
  • Return the favor. If someone is willing to put in the time and effort to help you out, then they shouldn’t expect any less from you. Always try your best to return the favor. Whether it is something small like a reference or some big opportunity, simply offering that kind of the gesture is the best way to let them know that you are really grateful for all that they do for you.
  • Be authentic. And finally, you need to be authentic throughout this whole process. Never look at someone as simply a bridge to a new job. Not only is it wrong, but if they ever found out, it could potentially ruin a great friendship and perhaps others that you’ve created. Remember, you are dealing with another person, and you certainly wouldn’t want to feel used either, so do your best to refrain from falling into that kind of trap.

Have anything to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Official GDC via photopin cc

Why Networking Matters for Your Career (Part I)

tangled web

Take a look around for some career advice and you are bound to run across someone expounding on the virtues of networking.

With social media and its impact on almost everything, the ability to network has become even more efficient, given the instantaneous nature of social media and the ability to access it almost anywhere. To many, this means that there is no excuse not to network for those looking to expand their careers, or even start them.

Hype aside, it’s no joke: networking really does matter for your career.

To get you better acquainted with why networking matters for your career, here are a few of the essentials you need to know. Take a look below:

  • Networking gives you more opportunities. At one point or another, you’ve probably thought to yourself “I know someone who would be great for this (job or position).” Well, with a great network and the right qualifications, chances are you have others thinking the same about you. Having an extended network of people who know you and what you are good at really well and what can help give you more opportunities necessary to expand your career. The best part about all of this is that networking helps jobs find you–a definite win-win in our book.
  • Networking gives you an in. As well as helping jobs find you, networking can help you figure out the best ways to land the job you’ve been coveting. Whether that means knowing someone in company who can put in a good word for you with the hiring manger or asking someone who knows the nitty gritty of the trade you are looking to enter, networking can be a great way to give you insider knowledge as to what you need to do to make you stand out amongst your competitors and other candidates.
  • Networking helps build up your knowledge and broaden your perspective. Finally, networking is a great way to help you learn more and more about things outside of your expertise. When you meet others from various fields, you have a great opportunity to converse with them about their field of expertise. And, having that kind of exposure available to you is a great way to gain knowledge and broaden your perspective, giving you an edge over others who aren’t able to look outside of their profession.

On Thursday, we’ll break down the importance of networking even further. In the meantime, let us know if you have any thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: nerovivo via photopin cc