Bieber and Grumpy Cat: The Art of Networking No Matter Who You Are

If you haven’t heard of Justin Bieber or the infamous Grumpy Cat, then you’re probably the only one.

Whether you like him or not, Bieber undoubtedly rose to fame when he shared his singing talent on YouTube, which has since led to his strong online presence and worldwide recognition.

Grumpy Cat – a cat known for its grumpy expression due to a feline dwarfism – became an Internet sensation after its picture was posted to a social network. This cat has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the cover of New York Magazine, and now has a business valued at a million dollars.

Do you know what Justin Bieber and the Grumpy Cat have in common? Networking. Funny-Cats-Top-49-Most-Funniest-Grumpy-Cat-Quotes-2

Unlike Bieber and Grumpy Cat, it doesn’t take social networking to the world to make a name for yourself; however, networking does come in a variety of forms and can help you gain visibility, make connections, reach your goals, and ultimately land a job.

According to a survey by Manpower Group that analyzed 60,000 clients, networking is the single most effective way to land a job! Knowing the right person may not get you the job, but your resume could end up in the right hands, your credentials may get a second glance, or you may just be pointed in the right direction.

And networking is not as tough as you might think – it’s just being genuinely interested in others and building and maintaining relationships over time. It’s connecting with the people already in your life, who can then connect you with the people in their lives, and the system goes on and on.

Take a good look at the people around you and know that in some small way, they could potentially help you make great strides.

Faculty: They can connect you with former students, as well as to those in their own professional networks. By simply talking to your advisor, volunteering, or just getting to know faculty, you are networking and forming connections. Showing interest and staying connected with faculty can help you connect with potential employers.

Alumni: By connecting with TU alumni, you’re not only reaching out to someone who has “been in your shoes,” but you’re also finding out firsthand what it takes to network before and after graduation. You can connect with alumni via the Career Center Mentor Database through Hire@TU. Alumni volunteer mentors want to help you with your career, so take advantage of this great networking resource.

Associations: If you want to connect with future colleagues and established experts in your field, then your best bet is to volunteer on a committee. Every field has at least one professional association – most with state or local chapters. Students typically get a reduced membership rate while still gaining access to job/internship postings, mentoring programs, career information, and most importantly, networking opportunities.

Family and Friends: Don’t write off family and friends as networking connections just yet. You may know some of the most in-depth details about them, but that doesn’t mean you know who they know. Just asking if they know anyone in your field can help you connect with potential employers. Even the most random people you come in contact on a daily basis can have connections to other people who can help you.

LinkedIn: Move over Facebook; LinkedIn is the next big thing for networking, especially professional networking. By creating a profile and joining relevant groups, you can connect with alumni, professors and professionals in your field. They can then endorse you, giving you more connections!

Business Etiquette and Networking Dinner: The TU Career Center event you can’t miss November 5 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.! Enjoy a FREE, multi-course dinner while learning the “how-to’s” of professional networking and dining etiquette. Register by October 31 via Hire@TU.

Fall Career and Internship Fair: Get ready to meet over 90 employers who want to network with you October 21 from noon – 3 p.m. Dress professionally and bring plenty of resumes! Click here to view a complete list of Employers attending the fair.

Career Center Appointments: If you’re really unsure about networking, you can always schedule a Networking Appointment to help you expand your network, answer questions you have regarding professional etiquette in network settings, and give you experience with network conversations; or schedule a Social Media Consultation to receive guidance on developing a professional presence online.

Networking is not about asking everyone you know for a job. It’s asking for general job search advice, information, tips, and referrals. Start making connections today with the Career Center.

For more information about the Career Center visit www.towson.edu/careercenter or call 410-704-2233.

Sara Heilman
Career Center Marketing Intern

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