Networking On and Offline

Samantha Knoerzer, a Publishing graduate student in SCPS, offers insight into the recent Networking On and Offline event. She is currently a eBook production intern at Berghahn Books, an international, academic book publishing house that resides in Dumbo, Brooklyn and works as a social media coordinator for BiblioCrunch, a source for indie publishers which helps connect self-published authors and publishers with book publishing professionals to get new books and apps to the market.

IMG_20140225_174040.jpg

Networking is an important part of furthering your career while attending and after NYU.  Whether you are looking to begin your career, expand it, or even if you want to switch careers completely, panelist speakers highlighted that it is important to network and get to know people in your field in order to expand your opportunities. The panelists stressed that networking is not about calling everyone in search of a job. Rather it is about building relationships, staying in touch with your current network, sharing information, asking for assistance, and most importantly, being authentic.

The four most important tips from the panel were:

  1. The three main steps of networking:

    1. Setting a career vision: Understand why you should network. Networking is important, as everyone already knows. It is important to understand two things when networking: What is my career vision? And, what do I want my next steps to be? By understanding these two things, you can begin to map out a potential career path via networking.

    2. Analyze yourself: Understand what you should network. Many people get stuck at this section, knowing that they want to network, but not knowing how to do so. In order to begin this path to networking, you need to ask yourself: What knowledge/skills/info do I have now? And, what knowledge/skills/info do I NEED in order to begin my networking path? Once you understand this, you can begin to network for your career.

    3. Set networking goals: Create networking goals to complete your career goals. Some sample networking goals are: What is the next step I should take in my career? How can I make a career change into publishing? What qualities is a specific company looking for? What are the trends that are happening in my field? Why am I not getting hired? In order to answer some of these questions, start by making a networking inventory of all the people you already know.

  2. Finding networking contacts online: How do you find contacts to strangers in your field online? The answer: Always look for online networking opportunities. Plenty of places hold networking events advertised through social media. Some other networking actions can even be done directly through online. TaskRabbit, Findspark, Glassdoor, as well as many other sites allow people to go online and complete tasks and take part in online networking webinars in order to network directly from home. Taking part in social media, and following important people in the industry online is the other great way to network online. However, before you do anything, you should make sure to have your own social media up to date.

    1. Twitter networking tips: For Twitter make sure to complete your entire profile. Post a good icon image consisting of a headshot with a single colored background. Once that is done, make sure to follow important people and companies in your industry that have a huge pull in the networking world, and while you do this, share valuable content to be noticed. Finally, always make sure to ask questions on your Tweets to get people engaged with your page and make sure that you, yourself stay engaged with others in the social networking circles that surround you.

    2. Linked In Networking tips: For LinkedIn, make sure to use a profile summary, and once again use a professional photo with similar description as the requirement for your Twitter account. Make sure to always grow your network and join groups that can be of networking value to you. Look on sites such as linkedin.com/alumni to stay connected with your past networking circles, always pay attention to recommendations, and upload projects and portfolios whenever completed. And once again, most importantly, STAY ENGAGED!

    3. Sending emails for requesting informational conversation: Sometimes, the best way to network and really get to know more about a company is to set up an informational interview. From these you can learn valuable information about a company, and really connect with a circle that if you desire to work within, you should understand and connect to. When sending an informational interview/conversation email request make sure to keep it short and simple, sticking to the three main points: Who are you? Why are you writing to them? How much time is this going to take? Making sure to keep your email short and concise will give you the best way to become an interest of connection to the person you are emailing.

  3. Finding networking contacts offline: Offline is just as important, if not more important, than online networking. Going to events can be the best ways to make in person connections. Making in person connections gets people to know you by not only name, but face, which can help you in the long run when you show up to an office for an interview and see people you know. Like what was said in the panel, “Every time you step outside, it is an interview.” Stay friendly and get to know the people around you, even the people next to you in class, to ensure a great networking circle in every aspect of your life.

  4. How to build a relationship via networking: The steps to building a relationship are crucial. First, make sure to send a personalized message introducing yourself. After the meeting, make sure to send a thank you email consisting of follow up thoughts and questions that you still may have. After one month, consider reaching out to send a virtual hand, if needed. Four to six months past that, plan to meet up for coffee, or setup a phone chat. Nine to twelve months after your original introduction, consider an email or phone call consisting of personal and professional updates in order to stay in touch. After this, always send some reconnect emails and attempt to repeat the same cycle in order to keep your networking connection strong.

Next steps: What can you do right now? Make networking manageable; do it a little bit at a time and challenge yourself. Right now start establishing your networking skills by meeting 2 new contacts each week, schedule one informational interview a month, and attempt to reconnect with one person you’ve lost touch with each week. Reach out to existing contacts, takes notes for personal touch, select a tracking mechanism and schedule check-in points. You can even consider scheduling an appointment with a career coach to review your networking plan and help with your correspondence. This is available right now at NYU’s Wasserman Center. All of these opportunities are available to you right now. Why not take advantage of them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*