How to Career Explore and Network at the Same Time: Step 1

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Today, Cassie Thompson, a practicum student in Career and Professional Development, is sharing step 1 of a 4-part series on networking.  Thanks so much for sharing your insights with us, Cassie.networking step 1

There is plenty of research that shows that most people get a job through some sort of connection in their network. Maybe that idea depresses you, because you think you don’t know anyone in the industry you are looking at. Or maybe you feel you don’t have a network. Or maybe you’ve heard that everyone in your contacts is your network, and that can feel overwhelming. Or maybe you just have no clue what you want to do! So where to begin?

Over the next few weeks, I will give a step in the process to both exploring a career and building a network. Some of these steps will feel really easy to do, and some a little more challenging-Hence why they are paced out. So step one…

Start with 10 people. Only ten. Choose ten people who either have a career you are interested in or work in an industry that interests you. These people can be your aunt, a professor, maybe a roommate’s dad or cousin, or your sister’s best friend. Basically, anyone you know that is working in something even remotely close to where you want to work is a good place to start. Create a list or spreadsheet with everyone’s names, jobs, and contact info.

Do not worry at this point about how well you know these people or fear whether they will help you. We’ll get to that part later. For now, just come up with ten names.

If you think of more than ten-great! Write them all on the list or spreadsheet, but for the purposes of not being overwhelmed, pick 10 people from that list to begin with. Maybe they’re the ones you know best or maybe they are the ones who have jobs closest to what you hope to do in the future, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you pick ten.

That is all for this week. Next week we will discuss what to do with the list!

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