This summer is truly flying by! I have been away from home visiting friends and family for the past three weekends. I honestly do not even unpack anymore because I know that I will just need to repack in a matter of days. It has been fun constantly traveling and I am trying to keep my momentum going as I head off to Florida later today.
One unexpected aspect of all this travel has been the networking opportunities. My family and friends know that I am a recent graduate looking for a job so they always offer words of advice. However, it is the new connections that I have made who have been incredibly helpful to my job search process. To preface, I have always been a little…how should I put this…worrisome of over utilizing connections that I have. I never wanted to be seen as someone who only got a job because they knew someone higher up. I think the reason I used to feel this way relates back to getting into college. Both my parents also attended Bucknell University (and coincidentally met there!). Before I arrived at Bucknell I was so afraid that other students would judge me or think that I was not as worthy of my spot because I was a legacy. Quickly after moving into my dorm room I realized that 1) no one cared and 2) many other students were also legacies. I recognized that it did not matter that I was a legacy, I deserved to be there. I was just as hard working and driven as the hundreds of other incoming first year students. I even graduated cum laude! Now in the world of networking I am coming to the same conclusion as I did during my first few weeks at Bucknell.
At the end of the day, it is not only the connections you have but your experience and drive that will get you the job that you want. Today is a world made up of connections, so sometimes it truly comes down to who you know. However, just because I may know a higher up at a company does not guarantee me a job (trust me, I recently experienced this very thing!). Instead, it just helps to get my foot in the door, something that all recent graduates are actively searching for.
When I saw this quote I felt that it directly related to my new view on networking. Opportunity dances with those only willing to go out on the dance floor and dance. I am only hurting my own chances by being too afraid or embarrassed to ask my connections for help. Whenever I meet someone who knows someone who knows someone…I should be happy that they are willing to help me and I should take them up on their offers. This is a world made up of connections, and I am only ignoring my opportunities by not reaching out and sending them my resume or meeting for informational interviews. At the end of the day, who you know will only get your foot in the door, it guarantees nothing. I still rely on my experience and my ambition to get me the job. Networking is such a key component of the job search process, that if I ignore my opportunities I am choosing not to step out onto the dance floor. And hey I like to dance with them best of them!