Networking is Key

By Caily Wolma

A few days ago, after logging out of my Yahoo! Mail account, I was clicking through the articles on Yahoo’s homepage.  Among the usual mix of human interest stories, the latest tabloid spotting’s and relationship tips, I noticed an article offering the latest secret to getting a job in today’s market – or something like that anyway.

 The article turned out to be from “Business Day” of the New York Times and was titled, “In Hiring, a Friend in Need Is a Prospect, Indeed.”

 “This is still making the news?” I asked myself. The article specifically discussed accounting firm Ernst & Young and their measurable goals to increase hiring from internal recommendations.

 Here in the School of Journalism, I feel like this is one of the first things we are taught and like a lot of things it goes back to “networking.” We all know the importance of it and are probably starting to realize that it’s a pretty easy thing to do.

 Thus, while I was a little surprised the article was written as if it was divulging some deep new secret, it made me think. Perhaps some fields have been slower to pick up on this than others. As communications people maybe we are ahead of the game.

 In a recession that has left virtually no field untouched, companies big and small have found ways to cut back and as the article says, places can save time and money when they follow current employees’ recommendations for new hires.

 In a field like public relations, you can’t prove your worth by scoring high on an exam, saying all the right things or even having a few great writing samples in your portfolio. Instead, your worth is proven more by what others have to say about you.

 Give professors and professionals a reason to remember you and be willing to take the time to remember them. College is busy and it’s easy to let things pass you by, but investing in professional relationships will pay off in the end.

 Remember the professional you shadowed your freshman year or the first professor that made an impact on you? If you made a good impression on them then, they are probably happy to help you now.

 Regardless of where you are in your education, I can guarantee there are people you come in contact with on a regular basis who would love to help you in any way they can. Also, don’t limit yourself to those professionals specific to the communications field.

 For example, I meet many people studying public relations that are interested in the non-profit sector. Reach out to someone in the School of Philanthropy here at IUPUI or even consider a minor in Philanthropic Studies. Interested in working for an arts organization? Get in touch with someone at the Herron School of Art and Design right on campus.

 Opportunities to build the connections and contacts so necessary to getting the job you want are limitless. While pursuing PR, remember to pursue the other things you are passionate about at the same time. Every field requires talented communicators on some level or another so there is no reason not to what you love when doing PR.

 Lastly, genuine passion is attractive. Don’t be afraid to share it with friends, family, peers, professionals and all those you come in contact with. When someone asks you what you want to do in the future, tell them, and give them a reason to want to help you succeed while you’re at it.

 Just as the article seemed like old news to me, what I said probably seems like old news to you, but we can all use a few reminders. So, get out there and talk to some people – you never know how far a conversation may take you!


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