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Networking 101

Networking 101

Networking 101

     Landing a job at an organization or company where you have no contacts can take a long time -- even if you have specialized skills or experience. Some of you may be freshly celebrating your recent hire here at GVSU, and some of you may be considering your next move. If you are looking for a new, more challenging position or promotion here at GVSU, you need to know people in the Laker Community. You need a strategy for networking!

But I don’t have time to network!

     Yes, you do. When you sit with colleagues at meetings, or help set up for an event, or join a committee, or even walk to Panda Express for lunch, you are taking an opportunity to network. Networking simply means connecting, in a meaningful way. It can take seconds, but it does require practice.

Social Media can support networking

      If you are unsure which people and positions you should be connecting to, do a little research on LinkedIn. Use the LinkedIn search tool to learn about your colleagues’ backgrounds, and more about the jobs they do here at GVSU. Send them a message if a detail in their bio sparks your interest. People really do enjoy helping others!  

     LinkedIn is the most obvious place to do professional networking, but you can make similar connections and learn about new industries and opportunities elsewhere online. Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram or more specialized platforms can all prove fruitful.

Simple steps you can take right now!

  • Make a list! Be intentional about building your network. Identify two or three people each semester that you would like to meet for the first time, or again!
  • Know why. Be able to express some reasons you are interested in knowing a colleague better, or what you think you may have to offer in your connections.
  • Invite them to connect.  Everyone needs to eat, or even take a water cooler break, so don’t be shy about sticking your neck out to ask for time on someone’s calendar.
  • Send a thank-you note after your meeting. Social graces go a long, long way, even in today’s digital age. This is also a way to keep the connection going.

Still hesitant?

Look for GVSU programs that support networking. Lean-in Circles, Parenting groups, and even Banner trainings help you connect with other GVSU professionals. Sign up for something, and get out there!

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Do you have networking tip or success story to share? Send your thoughts to Breeann Gorham at [email protected] to contribute to our blog, or be a guest writer!

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Page last modified March 11, 2019