Networking “We’ve only just begun.”

So, you have your internship or full time opportunity set. Networking is over, RIGHT?Blog Networking is an ongoing process that needs to be continually developed throughout your career. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics US Department of Labor, the typical American worker’s tenure with his or her current employer was 4.1 years in 2008, 4.4 years in 2010 and 4.6 years in 2012. (September 18, 2012) Your career will evolve and the networking skills you have developed will continue to drive your current success and future opportunities.

We have compiled a list of tips to get you started on the right track for successful career. 

1.       Maintain Your Network
All those contacts you’ve spent time cultivating? Alumni, guest speakers, company presenters, interviewers, internship colleagues, classmates, faculty, staff, and many others…Stay in touch with that list and think of them as part of your lifelong network by communicating once or twice annually.  A few ideas although this is only a partial list:  quick career update about a new title, company, email address or phone number change; gather information for a project; ask for support for a charity activity; link to an interesting article; snail mail a note at holiday time; or hard copy of a journal or business publication news article.

2.       Compile a Project List
As you take on projects, acquire skills and drive outcomes in your new environment, create a tracking system to note the details.  Having details written down will help you prepare for performance reviews, update your online profiles, and ease the resume updating process down the road.

3.       Join a Professional Group/Association
Most industries, functions and geographic locations have an association that has a local chapter.  These groups have networking activities, speakers, and conferences that offer good opportunities for both networking and professional development.

4.       Keep your LinkedIn Profile Updated
When you update your profile, share a link to an article, make new connections or add an application that activity will be highlighted on the homepage of your connections.

5.       Remember to Listen
While using all your MBA knowledge in your new position can be a strong showcase for your capabilities, it’s important to realize that your new colleagues have lots to share with you as well.  Listen, ask questions, and appreciate help and guidance.

6.       Do a Great Job!
Whether your next position is with a company you intend to stay with for 2 years or 20 years, it’s important to build your brand and reputation from Day 1.

Though career transitions can be intimidating, these tips are key tools to help you evolve your personal brand. Reach out to Career Services if you would like more assistance with developing a career transition strategy.

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