Building Your Network
Author: The Windmills Programme, GIEU - Graduate Into Employment Unit
1. Getting started
- List family, friends, colleagues and contacts past and present.
- If they can't help, ask if they know someone who can.
- Keep your list up to date and look for new contacts.
2. Using your network
- Set yourself clear objectives, e.g find out about a media career by talking to a relative in broadcasting.
- Identify good networkers and see how they operate.
- Ensure they get benefits from speaking to you (e.g. mutual support).
3. Making contact
- Use informal opportunities and have a clear agenda.
- Always keep an open door: "I see you're really busy. Can I contact you next week?"
- Use an approach you find comfortable - letters, fax or e-mail if necessary.
4. What happens if they say no?
- Don't take it personally - it's always likely and no harm is done.
- Understand why you failed - and address it.
- Stick at it - really important people may take several attempts.
5. Keep working at your network
- Take time to build trust, there are no quick-fix solutions.
- Remember it's two-way - you're part of their network too.
- Keep in touch as people's lives change (ring, write, e-mail).
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