4 Ways to Make Connections

4 Ways to Make Connections

You will hear the word “networking” a lot once you start adulting or transitioning to become an adult. Looking for jobs and internships, finding roommates, searching for new opportunities, all of these require connections. To some, connecting with people is in their nature, therefore, some people are naturally good at it. To others, it is a skill set that needs to be learned. You might already know these tips I’m about to give you; however, I find these helpful from my experience, and I hope they serve you well too.

1. Find peers who share the same interests/goalsPeople who share things in common tend to connect better no matter what they share. Reach out to peers who are in search of the same opportunities and get to know them, because they might know something you don’t. Oftentimes people get cautious about connecting with other people who are looking into the same industry or job opportunities because of a competitive nature. However, my experience proved that those people have been the most empathetic to me because they know exactly what I am going through and can relate to it at a much higher level than other people.

2. Dig deeper into your current networkYou might be surprised who you'll find in your current network. Sometimes we connect with people in the past and forget about it. A little digging and polishing past connections can lead to many other connections or opportunities. Even if your current connections can’t directly help you find what you are looking for, there is a high chance that they can still connect you to someone who can help. Plus, since you already connected to some extent, it’s always easy to initiate a conversation.

 


3. Tap into your alumni networkBy this, I mean tapping hardcore. Utilize your alumni network through a professor, the alumni association of your college, and other students. Oftentimes, students feel hesitant about reaching out to alumni simply because they are afraid that the alumni are too busy to respond, or that the gap in age and experience is too big.

 

However, you never know if you don’t try. From my experience (and a lot of my friends' experiences, too), an alumni network has been extremely helpful in finding new opportunities/ jobs. However, you should be selective of who you reach out to, because your institution's alumni network can be huge and you don’t want to waste time dilly-dallying around instead of focusing on some main contacts. Another reason to trust this network is that alumni are people who have been there and done that, so they will know and understand your situation.

4. Use LinkedIn, and be bold while using itLinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals. As I’m writing this, I’m having a little self reflection and realized that I have been visiting LinkedIn more than Facebook for the last two months. LinkedIn will help you open your network in the most effective ways. You can actively search for people who share the same interests as you, or look for professionals who are in your career  path whom you think can help you out in the future.

 

And be bold and brave while using this platform. Making initial contact with someone sounds like a daunting job to a lot of people. However, keep in mind that you are on a social platform where people go to to connect with other people, so what you are doing makes total sense. Don’t be afraid to send a first message, and don’t be shy when someone whom you don’t know wants to connect with you. Every connection matters (if not now, then in the future).

 

 

Speaking of networking, I got some serious networking jobs that I need to finish by the end of this semester. I set myself some goals for connections to make and they have been keeping me going forward. I hope these tips help you gain more confidence in your networking skills. And last but not least, don’t worry, there are many people who are on the same boat as you. So, connect away!

 

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