How Do I Build my Professional Network?

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FIRST!
-Smile
-Be confident!
-Make connections and use them wisely…Grow and sustain it.

Know your networks and distinguish them: academic, industry, social. Use the work related ones to expand your social one!

Who should you network with? EVERYONE!
-Makes you and your work known.
-Good  for letters of recommendation, down the line…
-Get invitation to give talks, interviews, program committees, etc
-Might get you a new spin on your own ideas
-Might give you a chance for collaboration, friendships

WARNING!: Networking is not the answer to everything! Do NOT use people.

Elevator pitch: DO IT EVERYDAY! While your brushing your teeth! While your walking to class! Just do it!
-Who you are
-What you’re doing
-Why it’s cool
-The problem it solves

How-to network:
-Do it with managers, co-workers, directors
-Show interest in projects related to your project & meet those people
-Attend team activities
-Make a mentor list: Who’s where and who you want to be…
-Network outside of your profession, research zone!
-Volunteer!

Respect their time!: The people in your network are busy!
-Be active and confident
-Come prepared (although a powerpoint might be too much…)
-Know when it’s time to end
-Be THANKFUL!: Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!

What NOT to do:
-Don’t burn bridges: Don’t take things personally. Don’t have a low tolerance for others. Check yourself!
-Don’t treat your network as a dumping ground for your personal problems
-Don’t use it as a gossip ground!
-Don’t use up too much time (conferences, especially!)

To keep contact after several years:
-Email before a conference: Hey! You going to blah-blah? I am, too! Would you like to catch up over coffee?
-Holiday cards! Happy New Year!

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