Networking as a Young Pro
Tamika here, and I can't be the only one, that has ever heard the phrase "your network determines your net worth"? Well in a lot of cases that just might be true. For instance, I was freelancing doing social media account management, and marketing plans for companies and individuals. While I loved doing my jobs, the money was not flowing as plentiful as I would have liked it. Fast Forward about two months later, I joined Color Comm (Colored Women in Communications).
This membership would open many doors professionally for me, which in turn gave me more opportunities to grow financially. Within the two months I had three interviews with some of the top creative communications agencies in Chicago. And, I owe a huge part of that to Color Comm. I also found a new "Boss" friend Annchellie through my membership in Color Comm.
She is a co-founder of an organization full of Dope women called "Let's Vibe". We instantly connected, she invited me out to their first event of the year called "New Year, New Vibe". And of course, I went out to support! The event was great! The venue they chose was beautiful, spacious, and filled with dope women and great vibes. They had an all star cast of panelist that gave uncut advice, and took any questions we had. The event ended on a HIGH note, with a workshop teaching us how to "strut or stuff". With the main focus being confidence, and walking in your purpose. Needless to say, I loved the event. I left feeling ready for the world. I love events like these, getting a chance to connect with like minded people is priceless.
Do you agree?
I know I'm not the only one who thought that networking wasn't important. In college people would always stress how important networking was, but I didn't believe them. In our first blog post I told you all that throughout undergrad I thought I had worked hard enough to land me a full time job. I thought that my credentials would speak for me. I thought that I could walk into someone's office drop my resume on their desk, and just like that I would have the job. I mean why not, who wouldn't want me to work for them!
After submitting my resume to thousands of job postings on company websites, or what I like to call the black hole, I realized that I wasn't getting anywhere anytime soon. So I decided to give networking a chance and let me say, it makes a huge difference. I'll give you an example. Last year around this time I was looking for a new gig since my current internship was coming to an end. I applied for numerous jobs that I found but one day I decided to attend a networking event where I met and exchanged a few words with the CFO of midsize agency in Chicago. She told me her company was hiring and told me to email her my resume. Well I did and within the next couple of days I had an interview for a position with their company. Just like that.
I hated to admit that the people who gave me the networking advice were right, but they were. I never really understood the concept of networking. If I have all the credentials and I know I work hard, that should be enough. But then I compared the idea of networking to relationships. You don't just wake up one day, meet a person and that same day make them your boyfriend/girlfriend. You spend time with them, you feel them out, and get to know them before you all take it to the next level (or at least you should). My point is that networking works the same way; you can tell them that you have all of this great experience but they need to get to know you a little better before they allow you in. Do you agree?
What are your thoughts on networking and how has it helped you?