Contributed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart
As a career coach and recruiter, I have followed many careers. I have also seen many examples of networking success: A PhD in molecular biology makes key venture capital contacts (and eventually lands a VC job) after tracking down a fellow PhD in molecular biology who is now a senior banker;
An art assistant lands an art director position at a national magazine, after regular contact with her former boss (now editor of the magazine) puts her in the right place at the right time; A management consultant transitions into recruiting after a former colleague hires her into her search firm; A little league basketball coach gets a job interview at one of his dream firms because it turns out he is coaching the son of a top executive there.
Many people make introductions, get promoted, or jumpstart career transitions because of networking – having the courage to meet new people and having the discipline to maintain familiar contacts. In most examples, however, the payoff is in the future. You can’t expect your first phone call to lead to a job. Often, networking leads to more and more networking, which eventually yields a success story. It takes persistence, commitment, and an upbeat attitude.
But it does work. So, keep in mind, wherever you are, you are surrounded by a potential network. Your classmates, your colleagues, your friends’ friends at that party could be your next employer, funder, client, mentor, or best friend. Keep yourself open to the possibilities of networking success.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (http://www.sixfigurestart.com/), a career coaching firm comprised exclusively of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Prior to launching SixFigureStart, Caroline recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citigroup, Time Inc, and others. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ask how you can attend a free SixFigureStart group coaching teleclass.