Networking is how you get your job done today, not what you start doing tomorrow when you’re out of a job. It’s an essential, not a necessity as to mapping out a fulfilling career.
No one typifies this better than Joe Styler, one of the many networked career stories in Build Your Dream Network – though his is one I cite frequently, as Joe’s career story contains so many valuable lessons (particularly for those heading to college and imagining the internship or job or career they will have in a few months or years).
Lesson One: Supportive Colleagues Can Help You Get Your Job Done Today
Your supportive colleagues may be a friend on campus or roommate. It could be the other members of an on-campus club or association. Think about how you’re chipping in to help others so that you have others to turn to for guidance or direction.
Lesson Two: How You Interact With Others Is Your Personal Brand
Instead of wondering how to build your personal brand or reputation, ask how you’re treating others – and around what topics you engage. Your brand is defined by your actions within your community.
Lesson Three: Focus On What You Need To Do Today
The only way to reach your ultimate career destination is to absorb the knowledge and master the skills for the stage you’re at today. As Joe shares in his BYDN interview at page 76: “I first figured out how to do my current job really well, and doing that opened the doors to other opportunities.”
Lesson Four: Seek Help And Be Prepared To Help Too
Joe’s not shy about seeking out help to improve his skills – and more importantly, he doesn’t hesitate to help others. He’s an active mentor and effective manager (so much so that many of those who have reported to him in the past, has been promoted and recruited across the company he works for). Being a life long learner is essential, but so is being a life long teacher or mentor.
Lesson Five: Make The Personal Investment
Devoting precious personal time to get to know someone is not a waste of time – it makes you stand out. It shows your dedication and commitment.