\par Build And Work Your Networking Plan \par

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Build And Work Your Networking Plan

Last week, I gave a presentation titled “Build and Work Your Networking Plan.” Some of you attended, which I truly appreciate. For those who didn’t, I wanted to at least summ\par ]]>\par
here.\par \par The goal of this presentation was to be very practical, and give you some tools to use as you take action steps. You might recall from our quarter-by-quarter job searching plan that we suggest you add 3-6 new people to your network each quarter. This was and is meant to help you do that. \par \par I began by laying out four different types of potential sources for adding / developing your network of contacts. The first was your personal list (family, friends), which we further subdivided into those with connection to the legal industry (likely the minority) and then those without (likely the majority). We also discussed how to leverage those contacts into more (and more helpful) contacts.\par \par The second type is a group of contacts that come from using your job search criteria (e.g. practice area, geographic preference) to locate employers and then contacts that would make sense to reach out to. There are numerous employer search tools to begin the process, but then it will be helpful to have our office (where applicable) provide a specific contact at that employer, and/or an introduction, so it’s not a “cold call.” There will likely be some that you’ll need to reach out to without a connection, but even in those circumstances you may be able to find a Baylor alum at the employer who will be more receptive than others.\par \par The third type is to attend law school facilitated opportunities and meet guest speakers/presenters/volunteers/etc. Every quarter, between our office, student activities, faculty and others on campus, there are numerous events which bring guests from the legal field right to you. The alumni networks also put on events in cities around Texas you have the ability to attend. What easier and better way to meet new people and build your network?\par \par The fourth and final type we discussed was other organization events and activities. Examples were local and state bar association events, other professional organizations such as the NAPE Conference for those interested in oil/gas, volunteer organizations of any sort and law firms themselves (e.g. 1L holiday parties). \par \par Note that of these four types of contact sources, only one (the personal list) begins with people you already know. The other three require you to initiate with new people and develop relationships with them from scratch. The remainder of my presentation walked through how to do that. We discussed how to set up appointments and how to conduct them, how to cultivate these new relationships, and then when the time is right, how to inquire about employment opportunities.\par \par I’ll conclude this summary with something that I both began and ended the presentation with. Networking is work; work that pays dividends later rather than immediately. The example I gave was a farmer growing a crop. (Not that I would know first-hand) There is a lot of hard work that goes into planting the seed, watering, providing proper soil, removing weeds/pests/etc. Only after all that and months of time does the harvest come. Networking is very similar. And to those who say “it’s too much work without any guarantee of a job,” I would simply say the only guarantee is that without networking there is a guarantee that you won’t add to your network. That also guarantees none of those potential contacts can/will help in your job search, in addition to the long-term harm of not having those professional relationships. So commit to the work, don’t get discouraged when it feels like nothing is happening, and know that there is a harvest down the line.\par \par Connect with Daniel at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu and/or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter.\par \par Job of the Week: Each week I highlight a job in Symplicity you might be interested in but may have missed. This week's job is: Verizon Legal Department Summer Intern(1L) Log in to Symplicity to view this job and apply. \par ]]>\par

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