Networking – Your third assignment is to “Network with Integrity.”
Networking means you have to meet people who may or may not become important to you. A lot of people might tell you to network in college — so parties are usually the greatest excuse to get to know your classmates. That is one source of building a network. However, many people depend too much upon this source and everyone eventually burns out.
So begin to network outside your college. Find networking events online. Use your university’s career events, social media (creating a LinkedIn before you start freshman year), and go to networking events by getting to know the school’s alumni/ae. Quality time spent well to network with professionals in your field or outside of your field is worth more than money spent on going to the movies. Attend at least one event per week, or month.
Another way to network is by talking to strangers. For example, engage people in the super market and at Starbucks. Aim to learn from them and about them. For people scared to talk to strangers, say “Hi.” And then cultivate that relationship.
In developing a successful network, learn the culture. Of course you can retain your own but that does not mean becoming insular. Learn US culture. Learn American terminologies, acquire an accent, and develop your English skills until your English is better than that of a natural speaker. Increase your vocabulary. Learn the history, appreciate both sides of the historical context and see how it ties into the actions of Americans. When in Rome, do as Romans do. Just because there’s a foreign district does not mean you shouldn’t meet the rest of the population and stay with people from your own country. Make it a goal to meet other people from the USA, not just people from your country in the USA. It makes a great first impression on Americans.
Next, don’t forget to do this with integrity. Be honest. Yes, the job markets will always be competitive but that does not mean you should conduct your business as if you were above the law. Be honest, don’t gossip or backstab. People will appreciate your honesty and discipline and your willingness to do things right. That way your acquaintances will turn into friends and not the other way around.
Networking and Mindset are the solid 90% you must have and do on a daily basis. Next is job searching.
Contact me if you want to learn how to network professionally. I’ll help you out with that.
To read more about this “How to plan your career in the U.S.” series, visit part one here and part two here.
Emmanuel Ticzon works as an Independent Careers and Digital Marketing Professional in New York City. He has been involved in these fields since 2008 and has lived and worked in the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, the UK, and the USA since 1998. He is a Mentor with Drew University and Arizona State University. In addition, he writes resumes and helps build contingency plans with and for students and professionals. He has spoken to groups ranging between 10 and 300 people on Careers and what they need to do to succeed during a recession.
He can be contacted at email@example.com or found on LinkedIn.