3 People In Your Network You Forgot About

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For some, the word “networking” makes them want to turn and run. If that’s you, don’t run far because your network is closer than you think. I’d be willing to bet you’re overlooking 3 important groups of people already in your network and they could have a huge impact on your professional connections and career projection. When it comes to making valuable connections, you don’t have to be limited by who you know if you learn to tap into the network of your family and friends.

Family

It can be easy to forget that guardians, parents, and other members of your family have their own careers and professional networks. Speaking to your family about your career goals and asking questions about their jobs can uncover common threads and may even expose you to options you weren’t aware of previously.

Part-time Job (Customers, Coworkers, etc.)

While waiting tables or serving coffee doesn’t allow you to practice engineering, it does offer a chance to build your transferable skills. There’s also the opportunity to connect with your regular customers or coworkers—the ones that you see every day or every week. Next time you are making small talk, bring up your engineering coursework or career aspirations and ask if they know anyone in that field. You might be surprised to learn that their niece, neighbor, or uncle are practicing engineers for companies that you’re interested in.

Teachers

Previous teachers and instructors are great network relationships. Think about how many former students they have connections with and all the different career paths those students have taken. Whether it’s a previous high school teacher or a former instructor here at Ohio State, you’ve got a very valuable professional relationship there! Connect with them to talk about your career aspirations and inquire about whether they know any former students who you should reach out to.

With winter break coming soon, now is the perfect time to reconnect with your existing network. Ask about their careers, talk about yours, and you might find opportunities to expand your connections. If you do, read more about informational interviews and how they can help develop job prospects.

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye

Category: Networking