Carrie Kerpen is the CEO and cofounder of Likeable Media and the host of the podcast All the Social Ladies. Work It is culled from her interviews with other amazing women in business. While every page is packed with tips, I’ve picked out the 10 tips most relevant to my current state of mind. These are things that resonated with me most strongly right now.
As I mentioned before, I’m currently in grad school. And business school is all about networking. If we learn nothing else, they want us to leave with a stronger network than we came in with. So this is most relevant to me, as I struggle to balance networking with my extreme introversion. That’s why half the tips I chose are about networking.
1. Be thoughtful and personal.
Networking is not about what is in it for you – it’s about building relationships. It’s about being able to give as much as, if not more than, you receive. If you know someone needs help, don’t hesitate to do them a favor, even if they don’t ask.
2. Leverage your alumni network.
Find someone who went to your school and works at a company you want to work for. Invite them to coffee for an informational interview, and ask them about the company. Not only will this help you get a feel for whether you really want to work there, it will put you on their radar for when positions you might be suited for open up.
3. Present yourself in an interesting and memorable way.
This is something I have a lot of trouble with, as my lack of confidence makes me feel like there’s nothing special or interesting about me. I will definitely have to work on finding a way to stand out but still be true to who I am.
4. If someone offers to help you, follow up!
It means they see potential in you, and you should take care to nurture that relationship. Send them an email, give them a call. It can be invaluable now and in the future.
5. TALK TO PEOPLE. IN PERSON.
This one is important because so much of our lives are lived online. We can connect with people all over the world, but the ultimate connection is still face-to-face. Instead of never-ending emails and phone calls, walk upstairs and introduce yourself to a different department. Make an effort to go to social events. Not to mention, it’s so easy to misinterpret digital words; take that possible misunderstanding out of the equation.
6. When you screw up, take responsibility immediately.
I’m a big proponent of this, in life and in business. Admit your mistakes. Own them. Then fix it. People will understand you’re only human; if your workplace doesn’t, and there’s a possibility you might be fired, wouldn’t it make you happier to work somewhere that appreciates you?
7. Keep up to date on the companies you want to work for, and make connections with people.
So this is a combo of both work and networking (life isn’t black and white). I personally have never done this for any of the jobs I’ve applied for, but I will definitely start. If all the recent college graduates are doing this, not doing it will put us at a disadvantage.
8. Even if you don’t get the job, keep in touch.
This is another thing I’ve failed to do: I’ve never followed up after an interview. This is especially important if it’s a company you really want to work for. Staying in touch will alert you to any new opportunities first.
9. Cultivate your social media presence.
I have to admit, I had been trying to cut back on social media before I started business school. But I was wasting time on social media instead of utilizing it to its full potential. Everyone is online these days, and not having a social media presence might put you at a disadvantage. Your social media profiles might also be someone’s first impression of you. It’s important to make your social media be the best reflection of you, so that people feel like they know who you are without even meeting you.
10. When you become aware that something isn’t right, change it.
Often, when we are in the midst of a situation, environment, or culture, we might not recognize that something is not ok. Be it sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination, once we realize what’s going on, we need to take action against it.
Granted, sometimes there are consequences and repercussions, so use your judgment on how much action you can take. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand, and I firmly believe, that silence and inaction makes us complicit.
Obviously, some of the tips affect me more strongly than others. Both #5 and #10 have been things I’ve been working on these past couple years. I definitely want to work on networking; I want to build strong, meaningful relationships that last the rest of my life. And I want my next career move to be the right fit for me. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be a step in the right direction.
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What tips for success have made an impact in your life? What is the one tip you would give someone who wants to be as successful as you are? Share your tips below!