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What is the best way to start networking?

Hello! I just finished my junior year of high school. With senior year coming up, I want to start networking more with professionals in jobs I am interested in. I have to admit, I am not the most extroverted person out there, and I want some tips!

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Christopher’s Answer

Hey Kayla! Just like the others have mentioned, a great place to kick-start your networking journey is through online platforms such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an amazing platform, mainly focused on fostering business connections, be it within your own country or globally. By building a robust profile that reflects your interests and actively participating in online discussions or activities, you'll see your self-confidence start to bloom.

When you feel you're ready to take the next step, I'd suggest checking out some local events or those nearby. It's a great way to observe how people interact with each other and get a feel for the whole experience. You'll be able to gauge whether you enjoy the vibe and decide your next move from there. If you have a particular interest, getting involved in both online and face-to-face activities related to that field can give you a glimpse into how things operate in that area. It's a fantastic way to figure out whether you feel at ease continuing down that path.

Hope this gives you a bit of direction!
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Linda’s Answer

Hello Kayla, it's fantastic to see you planning ahead and considering how to expand your network at this early stage.

Instead of just focusing on how to grow your network, why not take a broader view? Think about how you can enhance your networking abilities as a whole, so you're fully prepared to make the most of any opportunities that come your way in your future career.

Part-time jobs in sectors such as retail, restaurants, and bars can be a treasure trove for honing your people skills and becoming more at ease with initiating conversations. Additionally, consider joining debate clubs or toastmaster clubs. These platforms can help you get used to speaking spontaneously on various topics in a supportive environment.
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Ebonee’s Answer

Hello Kayla!

A big round of applause for successfully wrapping up your junior year of high school! Brace yourself for the thrill of senior year, which promises to be as exhilarating as your first year. If you've already decided on your preferred field of study and career path, it would be beneficial for you to look into organizations that offer internships or volunteer positions during the summer. This could be a fantastic stepping stone for you. It will provide you with a glimpse into how the organization functions and equip you with a range of skills that will be invaluable as you gear up for college. Remember, you don't need to be the life of the party to make connections. All you need is an eager spirit, a readiness to learn, and a passion for what you enjoy. You're going to do great! Best of luck on your journey!
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Nikolaos’s Answer

Hi Kayla,

Congratulations on finishing your junior year! Starting to network at this stage is a great idea! You can always start by leveraging online platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your fields of interest. Attend local industry events or online webinars and try to actively participate by asking thoughtful questions. I understand that you may not be the most extroverted person, but if you give active participation a try, you might find it easier than it seems or realize that all you needed was just a start. Another idea would be to volunteer in organizations related to your interests. This not only helps you gain experience but also puts you in contact with professionals. Last but not least look for formal mentorship programs at school or in your community. A mentor can provide guidance, introduce you to their network, and help you navigate your career path.

Hope this helps! Good luck with all your future endeavors!

Best regards,
Nikolas
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Dylan’s Answer

Hey Kayla,

It's awesome that you want to start networking and I hope you're excited for your senior year of high school. I would definitely recommend creating a LinkedIn profile (have a parent help if needed) and connecting with alumni from your high school. Once you've connected with them you can reach out to them via email or LinkedIn to schedule networking calls where you can ask them questions about their jobs and what they do.

Hope this helps.

Dylan
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Jeffrey’s Answer

I suggest starting an Account on LinkedIn. Be careful about what information you enter there, and do not ever embarrass yourself by promoting your skills, talents, or education. If you do, your reputation will be tarnished for a very long time.

I started in April 2020, and while the pandemic has a lot to do with the slow start, I'm beginning to see positive activity on LinkedIn. Do not just start sending the word out to every person LinkedIn shows. Know what you are going for and target that particular audience.

Remember, it takes time to build a solid reputation, but it is straightforward to destroy in hours.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you would like to start networking in the professionals.
Below are my suggestions :
1. You can consider to start networking with the senior students who have taken similar as yours
2. Attend the talks or seminars organized by the departments of colleges you have interest. Start to network with the participants as well as the speakers.
3. Attend the seminar organized by industrial bodies
4. Check if any interest groups on some social media or linkedin
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Michael’s Answer

Hi there - networking is one of those things that seem much harder that it actually is. I would look on local event pages (Facebook, MeetUp for example) and see if there are networking opportunities near you.

To prepare, I'd write down an 'elevator pitch' aka write a little talk track about your interests/passions/what you want out of life and your career and try to keep it casual and succinct. Practice this pitch a few times so you feel comfortable and confident to introduce yourself using it at networking events. Just remember, everyone is there for the same reason as you - to network and meet people. It's not deeper than that and anyone who is out there judging people - is probably someone you would not even want in your network!
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Asli’s Answer

Ask family and friends - leverage who you know
Search LinkedIn
Show curiosity and ask questions when you meet people
We agree with the previous answers.
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Caroline’s Answer

Hi! It's great that you want to start networking. Networking can feel overwhelming and challenging at first. But just like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes! To make things easier for you, I suggest coming up with a quick 30 second- 1 minute introduction. This will help you start conversations more easily and then give the discussion room to naturally grow from there. In this quick introduction, consider adding the following-- your name, high school location / year, industries/roles you're interested in, and any fun facts or hobbies. For in-person networking, I also recommend starting with a firm, confident handshake to get the conversation started. Good luck-- you've got this!
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Puja’s Answer

Hello Kayla! Kudos to you on completing your Junior year of High School - that's a fantastic achievement!
Why not consider volunteering with local organizations? Not only will you be contributing positively to your community, but it's also a great opportunity to strike up conversations with locals. You can learn about their professions, interests, and how they participate in different networking events.
Plus, if you're thinking about possibly heading to college in the future, why not plan some college visits? This could be a great chance to talk about various educational pathways with College Administrators and Students.

I hope this advice is helpful to you!
Best wishes,
Puja
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Anna’s Answer

I would suggest volunteering. Planned parenthood, local clinics etc. Also if you’re in school you more than likely will have to intern somewhere which is great experience and also a way to establish your work ethic and reputation with a company.
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Walter’s Answer

If you are not much of an extrovert, then you'll probably want to pursue jobs that are introvert-friendly. And you will find that the people who have those jobs are, themselves, also mostly introverts. It can indeed be challenging to build a network of introverts! Introverts are often more comfortable in online forums rather than in in-person situations, so one possibility is to hang out and join discussions on topic-specific group forums such as reddit or Facebook Groups. Then if you find someone who seems to be consistently polite, friendly, thoughtful, and informative, and not a jerk, you may be able to DM them individually and build a more individual relationship.

If you have an idea of what area you are interested in, many professions have professional groups that have student chapters. For example, I'm a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and we welcome student members. Attending the meetings of these groups can be a great way to meet professionals in the field who have an interest in helping the next generation.
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Shiyu’s Answer

Hello Kayla,

It sounds like you're aiming to expand your network to uncover job opportunities. If that's the case, I would recommend minimizing text-based interactions with your networking contacts, and instead, strive to meet them in person. Face-to-face meetings are typically more effective, and it's less common for people to turn down requests when they're made in person.

Before your meeting, it would be beneficial to plan ahead. Consider what you hope to gain from your conversation and what questions you'd like to ask. And remember, sending a follow-up email is a crucial step. This not only shows your appreciation for their time but also reinforces your interest and commitment. Good luck!
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Shruti’s Answer

If you're not naturally outgoing, the first step is to muster the courage to engage with others. Remember, when meeting new people, they're just fellow human beings like you!

Here are some practical ways to begin networking:

1. Seek out local events or job fairs related to your field of interest. LinkedIn and other social media platforms are excellent tools for finding these opportunities.
2. When you meet people at these gatherings, be proactive in connecting with them on LinkedIn. If they're willing, schedule one-on-one meetings.
3. Look for internship opportunities to expand your network within a professional setting.

Best of luck on your networking journey!
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Kariuki’s Answer

Starting to network, especially if you're not naturally extroverted, can feel daunting. However, there are effective strategies you can use to build connections with professionals in your fields of interest. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms
LinkedIn: Create a professional LinkedIn profile. Connect with professionals in your areas of interest, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions.
Twitter: Follow industry leaders, participate in Twitter chats, and share insightful content related to your interests.

2. Attend Events and Webinars:
Look for local and online events related to your fields of interest. These can include industry conferences, webinars, and meetups.Prepare a few questions or topics for discussion to ease the initial conversation.
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Emma’s Answer

One of the best strategies to expand your network is by engaging in conversations with your teachers. They might be aware of opportunities or have connections with individuals who could potentially assist you. LinkedIn is another excellent platform for establishing connections. There, you can directly communicate with recruiters or professionals. Involvement in activities like clubs, volunteer work, and community events can also be beneficial for networking and discovering potential employment opportunities.
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