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What is the best way to network in order to find yourself a job you can be satisfied doing?

I am hoping both right now and in the future to be able to build a network of connections that will help me connect with job opportunities. Currently I am a high school senior but I would like to build my network as soon as possible. job-search job networking

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Francisco’s Answer

Hi Jayden,

This is a great question. Networking is all about building connections with people around you and places where you eventually want to be. Some people think this only applies to people in higher positions or above you, but that's not always the case. My advise is that you start connecting with classmates who might be interested in the same field as you, reach out to the colleges you are interested in so you may be able to meet students and professors in that college to talk to, building connections with professionals in your field would also be great. There's a lot of places to find individuals willing to discuss their career with you, maybe research some mentoring program available through your school or some professional organization.

Overall, my advise is that you identify what you want to get out of your network right now, and seek people around you or in the places you want to be so they can share their experiences with you. It is not only about getting a job, but learning and building lasting connections.

Hope this helps answer your question. Best of luck!
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Mary’s Answer

Jayden, this is a great question! It is never too early to begin establishing a network!

I don't see any mention of a specific career field you have in mind, but that would be important to identify first. If you are still contemplating different career fields, there are a few resources I could recommend that include: Onetonline.org, Mynextmove.org and bls.gov (then go to Publications and look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook). These are US based websites used for career planning and may help you determine what you have interest in.

Once you have identified a few career fields of interest, you'll want to begin talking with people in the fields to get more information to help you make an informed decision. I agree with the prior comments and starting out with people you know, like parents of friends. A warm contact (someone you know) is a perfect way to get started. When you are sharing your thoughts and asking questions (these types of meetings are called Informational Interviews and you can google good questions to ask) during these meetings, it's always important to thank them for their time and when closing the conversation, ask them who else they may know that can help you. This will let you start with those you know best and branch out to establish other relationships with those you don't know from there.

I agree with all of the other advice listed here - so establish yourself w/ your professors, join professional organizations (many have fees for students that are less than professionals), attend career fairs and don't forget to ask those who you are networking with what you can do for them. Networking is a 2 way street - it works best when you give and get! If you are not sure how you may be able to help them, ask if you can keep in touch as you continue to do your research, then if you find an article you think they may have interest in, you can send it to them letting them know you thought about them.

All the Best to you!
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Pedro’s Answer

Networking is a powerful tool everyone can use. It is great to start early and start developing these relationships. One of the best ways of networking is simply getting involved in different activities where you get to meet so many different people. Whether this be clubs, organizations, or jobs, you can build connections with new people and learn from them. It is important to remember that these connections and relationships should be meaningful. You should get to learn about the person and make sure you stay in touch consistently. Having a good relationship with someone can ultimately lead you to networking with someone they might know and so on. Connect and network with people you're interested in learning more about. Network with your peers and other professionals. There are a lot of people willing to help so never be shy to reach out to someone and ask for their time. A simple act like this can go a long way.
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Lisa’s Answer

Networking is possible both personally and professionally. You can build your network by getting involved in school and/or community groups that engage in activities you're interested in. You can also speak with family and friends to learn more about various career paths selected by people they've known to identify whether someone in those circles has a job that aligns with your interests. If there is someone in your life you admire or want to learn more from, consider asking that person to be your mentor.

What worked well for me was building good rapport with my teachers, following through on school, work, and volunteer commitments, and having conversations with various people I've encountered along the way until I found the career path that was most valuable to me. Once I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to do with my life, I sought out a mentor that had experience with the type of career I wanted, and that mentor offered me great guidance as well as introductions to others within her network.

The key is to get involved, have dialogue with people from various backgrounds, and build a good reputation with others.
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Armando’s Answer

Attend your school's career day and speak to the technical professionals to get their support. I spoke with the engineers, scientists would also be helpful. If any classmates have parents that are engineers seek out those parents and get to know them. Most adults are willing to help you get on the track they have chosen. Take technical courses in school or your local community college that will help you in your technical track. Take your basic courses in the community colleges if they transfer to the school of your choice.
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