By: Catalina Guerrero Marketing Manager, ALPFA Boston
Editor’s Note: ALPFA Boston is the local chapter of the largest Latino professional network in the country. Its mission is to empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. For more information visit: www.ALPFABoston.org
There are many strategies one can take when searching for a new job. However, there is one essential practice in this process that will increase the likelihood of success: networking.
Networking is the practice of maintaining, nurturing and growing the number of contacts in an area of interest. As social creatures, we cannot survive alone. We need to give and receive help from people around us to progress. To accomplish this, you have to build a strategy that allows you to maintain your current network as well as expand it. Below are four key steps to successful networking:
- Create a filter based on the industry, and if possible, the company you are interested in working at. You should also define the job position you want and where your skill set will add the most value to your target company. After completing this segmentation, you are ready to start networking.
- Take advantage of your existing network. Review your Facebook friends list, LinkedIn connections, and phone contacts. Create an excel spreadsheet with each contact that may be helpful to expand the reach of your network. Make sure to include phone numbers, email addresses, a follow-up date, and next steps.
- Get out and meet new people by participating in networking events and volunteering. When attending these events, it is crucial that you leave shyness behind. Even if you are introverted you need to get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to perfect strangers.
To make this process easier and more effective, you should not attend all networking events but target only the events that are related to your areas of interest. This will give you the confidence to approach people since you know that at least you have the topic of the event as a common interest.
- Perhaps the most crucial of steps is to give as much as you receive. Just as you expect others to help you, you should help others as well. If you are only on the receiving end, your network will eventually wither and die. There is a proverb that says, ¨If you have been generous with a generous person; you will own him.” Therefore, you should always try to be that generous person at both ends.
Perspectivas Profesionales is a new monthly section in El Mundo Boston featuring the leading Latino voices from the world of business and entrepreneurship. For more content like this click here. Puedes leer este artículo en español aquí
Catalina Guerrero is an industrial engineer with extensive work experience in sales and marketing. She is currently doing her MBA at Hult International Business School. Catalina is the Marketing Manager for the ALPFA Boston Chapter. She has worked on getting jobs for others formally working at a recognized head hunter and informally by using her network to connect job offers with potential candidates.