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To become a specialist in business management, will I have to network myself?

i hear business management is a hard way to get a job if you're not known in the right areas. #business #networking

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Denise’s Answer

Networking is a key component to progressing your career. I've worked for several high tech organizations over many years and each job I was offered was because I knew someone who worked at the company who knew my skills and was able to advocate for me to get the job. Without my professional and personal networks, it would have been much harder to get job offers and I may not have been as successful in my career.

Depending on the type of business/industry you would like to be in, you may have to start out as a team member or team contributor to grow your expertise in the business, possibly around a particular business function like operations, finance, sales, etc. As you become more knowledgeable and show your strengths in conducting your day to day work, you will have a good chance to become a manager or leader of a team. I do encourage you to take every networking opportunity that comes your way - join professional organizations, maybe your company or school offers networking activities you can join, and stay close to your social networks, you never know when a friend will help you find your next career move!
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Corina’s Answer

I agree with Denise. Every single job I've had since my first internship in college, I've found through connections. I have also been surprised that in some cases, connections that I least expected were crucial in helping me find new opportunities. For example, I am about to start a new role that in a lot of ways, is my dream job. A few months ago, I connected with someone that used to be on my team at a different company. We only worked on the same team for about 2 months, and 5 years later, ended up working at another tech company in Seattle. He ended up being the hiring manager for this new role, and after passing the other interviews, I got the job.

I would say the most important thing when starting your career is to define what you want your brand to be, and what you want to be known for. This will help give you guidance on what activities and events to prioritize, books to read, etc.

It's also essential to be mindful of the impression you leave with others. While networking is essential to building your career, it's important that it's also backed up by a reputation you feel proud about.

As a student, I remember this feeling like an incredibly daunting task. It made it easier for me to find a group I could relate to. I joined ALPFA, an association for Latino Professionals that work across various business disciplines. I would recommend finding an organization that speaks to you, and begin practicing your networking skills there.
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Mary’s Answer

Hi Dari,

You will definitely have to network for yourself in all aspects of your life, not just business. Networking is making friends to improve upon your life in some way. Also, when you help others, it creates avenues for you that you may not have considered.

Some companies will pay for you to attend industry events. That is the best scenario, as they can be expensive and may require travel and lodging. However, it is what you make of any business event you attend that pays you later. You are in control of your own destiny. When you are in a business role with a company, you should seek out organizations of like-minded people or others who do the same thing. For example, I am in the insurance industry and belong to an organization that is specific to an insurance niche. I have met individuals from other aspects of insurance and can reach out to them for information that could help me. Any chance I get to meet somebody I don't know, I do. You never know what or who they know.

Personally, I do things similarly. I get involved in charity when I can and start up conversations with people regarding what they do for work. The job I have now was easier to get because of what I did when in a charitable situation. I developed a friend in the insurance industry, and he recommended me for my current job. I never would have gotten the interview without that recommendation. I never would have met him if I did not put myself out there and make friends. If others ask me for help, I help them. I have a friend who asked me to help his son in business, and I did. I may need his help in the future.

The bottom line is you have to know people in your industry and you have to stay in touch with prior colleagues. Never burn a bridge, and stay connected to everyone via linkedin at a minimum. Actively engage on linkedin by following people in your industry or desired industry. You can gain valuable information from complete strangers!

Good luck, and always be making friends!

Mary



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