Category Archives: College & University

Articles relating to college and university faculty, career services employees and other academic stakeholders.

Sep07

Advice for Internships By Samantha Lauro

Samantha Lauro

You Were Chosen For a Reason:

Every person has the quintessential, “I don’t know what I am doing” feeling when they start a new job. It is only natural, as you’re in a completely new environment consisting of client approval rather than grade percentiles. There will definitely be moments that challenge you and even make you question your chosen career path. Your most important asset is how the anxiety is managed, as what ultimately defines the situation is the end result. Therefore look at the long run rather than getting caught up in the moment.

Morning Routine:

I suggest treating yourself to a coffee, or general beverage/snack, at least once a week to keep your mornings interesting. This especially goes for those who commute; not only does it expose you to new locations around the city, but it also takes the mindlessness out of the daily routine. I am a self-proclaimed, or self-diagnosed, caffeine addict so to me this is essential.

What to Wear: 

Attire is important. It is the first impression people have of you and sets the tone. The rule of thumb is usually, dress a level beyond the position you are aiming for. I concur, but my personal thought is that one must gage the social climate and dress appropriately. In other words, integrate yourself with the office culture but maintain a professional appearance. If your place of work is on the casual side, I recommend mixing professional and dressed down pieces to keep the balance.

Going to a Work Event:

This is a great opportunity to get to know co-workers. Be social and make connections. It may be intimidating but I have found most people to be open and friendly, plus casual conversation is a great way to gain insight on the field you are embarking in. Be yourself and be genuine; at the end of the day a real relationship is far more important than a list of completed office tasks or superficial conversation. Enjoy yourself!

Stay Off Your Phone:

To become fully involved and connected with jobs and accounts one should avoid distractions. Put the phone down and get the full experience. Use 100% of your mental capacity and it will pay off with regard to work quality and work relationships.

Junior Associate Mentality:

Think of yourself as a junior associate rather than an intern. People will tell you not to sweat it because “you are only an intern” but I say rise to the occasion. Don’t give yourself a proverbial out. You are working at a real company and the work you do will have an impact in some way, especially if you elevate your thinking.

Meetings:

Pay attention to details and take notes. Observe and absorb the general information and the essence of the gathering. Note the interaction, strategy, attitude, posture, and language. There are so many external and intrinsic lessons to learn, as meetings show thought process, culture, and final result. Always have an opinion about what is being said, and try to contribute when appropriate. You never know when you will be asked about your thoughts, therefore, listening intently is key. Additionally, ask questions to show that you are attentive and interested in learning. If you are nervous ask questions after the meeting or through a follow up email.

When in Doubt, Go for It:

There will be quite a few times during an internship where the opportunity to go beyond what is expected presents itself. Many times it means putting oneself on the line or taking a chance. Admittedly, this is pretty scary especially in a new place. Personal examples of this included emailing my thoughts on an account after sitting in on a meeting, creating a POV, presenting an idea to an art director, and asserting my opinion despite the fact that it challenged the idea of another co-worker. Before every decision I contemplated whether or not I should act, and I went for it. I can say with confidence that it was worth it, as each became a personal victory despite varying degrees of success. Take a chance on yourself, it will pay off and show initiative.

Don’t be Afraid to Stay Late:

Staying late can be daunting. If there comes a time where you need to stay late to get something done embrace it; buckle down and get to work. You want to show your team that you are dependable and dedicated, therefore don’t run out of the office at 5:00pm on the dot. In the process of staying late you may even meet some coworkers who you would not have met during the day. Additionally, if you are working on a project for someone, always check with them before you head out for the day.

Commuting:

Commuting is exhausting and can be mind-numbing. A good percentage of the time I was passed out on LIRR, but for the days when my mind was left wandering I often searched for a way to pass the time. I suggest making a playlists to keep it fun; good music makes every situation better. I also recommend podcasts, as they are a great way to wake up your mind for the workday.

Time Management:

One will quickly realize that time is fleeting, especially if there is an abundance of work to be done. Stay on top of your work and things will run smoothly. Additionally, quality is essential so do not rush through your tasks at hand. It can be hard to say no to projects when multiple people come to you for help at the same time. If you think you can handle more work then go for it, but do not take on more responsibility if quality of work will suffer. It helps to know deadlines and be open; ask your supervisors when things are due and create an open dialogue. Lastly, keep a schedule to keep track of jobs.

Carry a Notebook:

I am a firm believer in carrying a notebook at all times during an internship. You can record what is going on, keep track of work and information, and have a daily account of your internship experience. It is also great for writing down ideas when inspiration strikes.

Work Quality:

Quality on one task can determine whether people will come to you for other jobs. Put in maximum effort. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions, as an internship should be about developing your skills.

Be Hungry:

An internship is a learning experience. Strive to learn as much as possible, and experience all that you can. Ask to attend meetings, look for work, volunteer, and enquire about opinions. Be assertive, in a mature way, and you shall receive.

Think Outside of the Box:

Creative thinking is valuable. As an outsider you do not have preconceived notions/stigmas from the industry and are not assimilated to the general way of thinking. Moreover, you hold a fresh perspective and come from a place of different experiences. Use this to your benefit and go against the grain. Also, some of the most wacky and outrageous ideas can be the best, or at the very least can stimulate thought, so make sure to speak up.

End of Internship:

Meet with your supervisor one last time before you leave to debrief. It can be a great way to gain valuable feedback on your performance and can showcase your progress. Be sure to thank your supervisor, as graciousness goes a long way.

 

Jul15

3 Ways to give your business a boost

growth chart

1. Update that website to HTML 5 for responsive design and mobile

These days it can be tough to compete in business if you don’t have a website that’s well designed, up to date and formatted for mobile phones. If your website is more that five years old there’s a good chance it’s not developed with HTML 5 or responsive design. This means your website may not look correct on different browsers and devices. Pages may get cut in half, images don’t load and crazy scroll bars may need to be used to read content and click on buttons. Know the feeling? According to Wikipedia, “Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)”

Why Use Responsive Web Design?

The number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site will continue to change. Responsive web design represents a shift in how websites will be built for at least the next ten years. Ignore this and your company will be at a disadvantage for delivering information, products and services online.

How can you update your website and mobile app without breaking the bank or paying developers?

Enlist a consulting company like Creative Village to manage the transfer of content and improve site design with a new HTML 5 responsive website with the revolutionary platform Wix.com. Creative Village will take the project management and design portion of the project off your plate and assure improved user experience, design and applications without having to complete excessive coding, testing or developing because we they partner with designers that are Wix.com experts and offer support and updates to your site even after the project is complete.

Black-Horizontal-Logo

2. Improve your talent pipeline by creating an internship program

Some of the benefits of having a quality internship program include reduced cost in pre-qualifying entry-level candidates, increased bandwidth for projects and training opportunities for staff that participate in the program. Companies have reported saving an average of $15,000 per hire when utilizing their internship program for pre-screening of future hires. In addition, it has been proven that employees who intern at your company will stay with the company longer than employees who never completed an internship program. Therefore employee retention rates are higher for companies that have quality internship programs. Creating useful and engaging learning exercises that prepare the intern to work at the company is important for both the intern host and intern to understand that a full-time position is never a guarantee when interning. This agreement and other important details of an internship program should be written and documented within the actual internship program and contracts signed by both parties.

Sound like too much administrative work to put together an internship program?

If so, check out the Quickstart Internship System. It’s a downloadable guide with templates for everything required to create a quality internship program.

Quickstart Internship System_cover

3. Provide online skills gap training for your staff

These days there are several online training resources to give employees a chance to develop new skills or brush up on current skills that have not been used in a while. With online training platforms such as Grovo.com and Linda.com, employers can offer immense knowledge resources for small monthly subscription fees. Some resources like Grovo.com offer free access for some users. Some of the skills gap trainings available for free include Digital Etiquette, Google Apps and Twitter Ads. Totally captivating because the lessons are broken into short  videos followed by brief multiple-choice exam to help you recall the information. Grovo’s a great tool for any learner trying to learn or improve a current skill.

Jun15

Triple your job chances with this simple thing

Resume Shoppe logo

Studies show that you have on average 6 seconds to grab the attention of someone reading your resume. 6 Seconds, that’s not a lot of time, right? You better make that great first impression then!
But how do you stand out against hundreds of hungry applicants in 6 seconds? A uniquely designed resume is the answer.  The good news is you don’t need advanced design skills for this anymore. Just your Word processor and 10 minutes of your time. Enter Resumeshoppe.com.

This website specializes in affordable resume templates in Word that everyone can edit. They have templates for all kinds of professions and for both men and women. More good news is that we have arranged a special deal for you for 50% off on all templates on Resumeshoppe.com!

That means you can grab a template like:

Caleb Resume

For less than $7.50
>>Grab a template now and use coupon code ‘creative50’ for 50% off at  Resumeshoppe.com

Debbie Resume

Jun10

How companies review your resume

resume image

If you have done up your resume on resume bond, maybe with some carefully chosen fonts – then you are almost sure to be rejected as a candidate for a job. First impressions count, and companies aren’t looking for superficial impressions but an idea of how qualified you are to fill the position. What surprises many people is finding out how many companies use software to filter the first round of resumes.

Automated resume filters

Most larger companies are using automated resume filter software, and many smaller companies now hire recruitment agencies to use filter software to make the number of applications they review manageable. These filters take a scanned image of your resume, and then score it according to key words and phrases the company sets that describe the qualifications and skills needed for the job.

The importance of using a template

Resume templates are very important when applying for a job today. Make sure everything on your resume is presented in a logical order so that reviewers are able to skim it. Using a resume template keeps your information in order, and easy to read. A great tip if you want your template to stand out from other applicants is to have a look at ResumeShoppe. This site has a selection of cv templates for Word that will surely get you noticed and help you structure your information.

Keywords and key phrases

To beat the filter you have to know the key words and phrases used in your industry to describe the job that is listed. You may excel in being level headed and organized, but if the standard way of describing that in the position is “flow based management” and “conflict resolution,” you need to use their words and not your own. Make sure you do your homework so you know the right words to help you get through the filter to land the interview.

Making sure you understand your industry

Before you race off and grab a resume template that you like the looks of, take the time to do a little investigation into what your industry is looking for in a candidate. There is a pattern to how they want to see information. Some industries want to see your skills first, while others will be more interested in your related experience. Just about all of the companies are going to want to know more about you – but whether it is through an objective/goal statement or an executive summary is going to depend on the position as well.

May26

Career advice for engineering

Engineer

Engineering is an exciting field that is always in demand. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a career in engineering. 

Explore different sectors 

Engineers can specialize in many fields. Reading some job descriptions and looking at the websites of major firms can give you a better idea of what a job in a particular sector will actually entail. This can also make it easier for you to decide what engineering degree program will be best for your long-term career goals. Firms such as Transducer Techniques have found success by specializing in one sector of engineering. The company engineers state of the art load sensors that allow for better precision in fields such as manufacturing. Other exciting engineering sectors to consider include aerospace and automotive engineering.

Don’t be afraid to use your innovation and creativity

Engineers are thinkers. They are always looking for ways to create solutions. If you have a great idea, then there is nothing wrong with attempting to turn it into a reality. Some of the greatest innovations come from those that are not afraid to explore and think outside the box. For instance, Transducer Techniques started as an entrepreneur’s dream and found success by focusing on one specific aspect of engineering. Finding a niche market can ensure your success.

Explore employment with small companies as well as large

There are plenty of good opportunities with small to mid sized companies. A company does not have to be large to be extremely successful. Many people overlook these opportunities because they are determined to be employed by large firms. Small firms are also great places for those that lack real professional experience. If you are still a student, do not count out these smaller firms, as they can provide internship opportunities that can lead to better jobs later on down the road.

Recruitment fairs and networking are your friend

Websites and social media such as LinkedIn can be extremely helpful in networking with potential employers and other key people in your chosen sector of engineering. This can lead to many opportunities. Recruitment fairs or engineering trade shows are another valuable opportunity to meet firms face to face and find out what they are all about. This can help if you are still trying to hone in on which sector you feel most comfortable working in. Some firms offer several different sectors, so you may be able to work a bit in both.

Internships can make the difference

While a great education is important for employers, real hands on experience at an engineering firm can make them look at you in an even more positive way. Sometimes internships lead to full time employment at the firm that you intern at. These programs are very popular because they give firms a chance to recruit and nurture talented up and coming engineers.

Talk to experienced engineers

Talking to those that have been in the business for a long time can be valuable. They can give you insight into what is currently most in demand and what they find lacking in new engineers so that you don’t make the same mistakes.

Despite the challenges of this field, engineering can be a very rewarding career, and the wide variety of job opportunities in this sector ensures that there is sure to be a specialty field to suit your interests.

Apr28

How To Be A Leader When You Are No Boss

Direction_Leader

The moment founders and CEOs intend to promote and hire managers, they look for people who exhibit leadership qualities. But how exactly can you portray leadership if you are limited to an individual contributor role? Possibly, no one comes to you, not even project managers. The good news is that leadership is not a title. It involves a group of characteristics that can be easily acquired even if you are not the boss. Read through this article for some ideas.

Communicate Clearly

Leaders do not grumble behind locked doors the moment things fail to go in their favor. They do not say yes when they should have actually said no. They say what they actually mean and do it in a manner that others understand. This is not advocating for rudeness but rather nurturing directness and dropping any passive aggressive behavior.

Learn Flexibility

There can be many ways of do something right. If you insist on things being done in a specific way, you will be heading down the micromanager path which is not what leadership entails. Just ask yourself, “Is it the wrong way to do it or is it a different manner of doing it?”

Avoid Being a Dormant

Leaders always stand their ground in a polite manner. On the other hand, jerks are always rude. If an individual interrupts you in a meeting, just say, “I am sorry, can I complete my statement?” If your co-worker attempts to leave her work on you, say, “That will not be possible.” Does this mean that you should never give favors? The answer is no. You do favors just because you are nice or because it has some benefit to you not because you cannot reject the favor.

Assist Others

Leaders work together with other employees and give credit where it is due according to ctrlearning.co.uk Leaders do not look for opportunities to look down on others rather for opportunities to uplift others. Always remember that a leader is an individual who demonstrates desirable qualities.

Be Responsible For the Mistakes You Make

All of us make mistakes, therefore own the ones you make. When an individual points out an error, avoid starting the blame game, just say “thank you for informing me. Let me fix it.” In addition, when things start going the wrong way, seek some help instead of panicking and trying to fix all of them by yourself. That might just make it worse.

Pay Attention To Others

You may be having tons of ideas but cannot wait until it is your turn to take the stake. Just take your time and listen to what others have. Others have good ideas and a good leader acknowledges that good things originate from many sources. Do not cut off people but rather solicit ideas. You might end up learning more than you anticipated.

Be A Risk Taker

Some people think that leaders live charmed lives where everything is smooth. However, this is rarely the case. Failure is an aspect of success. You are actually demonstrating leadership by acknowledging the reality of risks and their potential payoff. It is stupid to jump blindly. If you look at a situation and take a risk, you are demonstrating leadership.

Apr06

Student Excuses for being late

Train

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with students in the capacity of a School Director, Director of Career Services and CEO of CreativeInterns.com. These positions often required students to either arrive on time for an appointment, interview or class and therefore enabled me to hear numerous reasons why students were late or just didn’t show up.

Over the past couple years, I started taking note of some of the more unique and often used excuses, truths and sometimes absurd flat-out lies that were told to me. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these excuses were given in truth or to create empathy, shock or exemption from discipline for being late or not showing up. Enjoy!

Excuse #1

A homeless guy punched me because I was wearing a red hat.

Excuse #2

There was a really long line at the coffee shop.

Excuse #3

My shoe untied and I fell up the steps.

Excuse #4

There was fog and the ferry was delayed.

Excuse #5

My best friend was sick. (Note: can replace “best friend” with any living thing)

Excuse #6

I got my period.

Excuse #7

My train was delayed.

Excuse #8

I got lost.

Excuse #9

My alarm didn’t go off.

Excuse #10

I don’t know why I am late.

 

Written by: Marc Scoleri

Mar28

3 Things to Look for When Selecting A Shared Office

These days it is becoming less and less traditional to work a traditional job. More people are working from home, in remote locations, or quitting the corporate world of gray cubicles for tech startups in cold garages and freelancing from public computers at their local library. While it sounds nice to sit on the couch in pajamas or romantic to sip coffee while typing on your laptop at a local café, many workers soon realize that they are feeling lonely and isolated, and that they miss a few things about their old jobs. They miss eating lunch with coworkers and discussing who got kicked out of what reality television show. They miss gossiping during smoke breaks. They certainly do not miss that boss that was always breathing down their neck or those endless meetings that accomplished less than nothing, but they still need a community. If you need a little company at times, or just need somewhere to work that is not an arm’s length away from your refrigerator and one button away from the television, then a shared office or co-working space might be for you.

shared_office

Shared offices can be found in a variety of locations. Some are in spacious old cement lofts, others are in converted office buildings, and some are even in guest wings of private homes. Freelancers working for dozens of clients and remote workers hired by one person can all gather in these locations and form their own communities. You can rent your space by the day, the month, or the year. Basic locations with the bare minimum amenities charge around two hundred dollars a month. Others with better coffee, free black and white printing and comfy chairs, can get as expensive as five hundred per month.

But once you have decided to find a co-working space, how do you go about locating the very best one for you? Here are three things to look for: Does the shared office have the tools you need? What are the staff members and co-workers like? Is the office layout and location ideal for your needs?

Does the shared office have the tools you need?

Traditional company offices provide all of the necessary tools for their employees. You probably do not need half of them as a remote worker or freelancer, but some things like electricity, internet access, and drinks are always essential whether you are working at home of in a shared office. When you are looking for a co-working space, ask yourself what amenities you require. Do you just need a chair or a desk the size of a twin bed? Do you ride your bike to work and need to shower? How many electrical outlets do you need to run your tech? Are there books that you need every day for work that you do not want to drag around? If that is the case, you need extra storage to rent.

Do not assume that every place will have a full size kitchen complete with a stove and oven, a dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and espresso machine. There is no guarantee that every shared office will have a television for video conferencing or fax machines. If you need to print out color brochures for your marketing agenda, you do not want to rent a space with a printer that only prints black and white.

What are the staff members and co-workers like?

Most shared offices will have a manager on site or on call. All shared offices will have people coming and going. If you really want to be part of an office community again, it would be wise to avoid co-working spaces that only rent by the hour or by the day. You would not have consistent interaction with other freelancers. If you rent a desk for a year in a pod with six others who are committed to the same amount of time, that gives you people to not only bounce ideas off of but to be accountable to every day.

Do not forget to inquire, politely, how the people there act. Some people require silence while others thrive when there is background noise. Is it a room full of introverts all minding their own business and hiding behind headphones, or a room full of extroverts who never stop talking? Figure out who you want to be around before you commit.

Is the office layout and location ideal for your needs?

What is your travel situation like? When you look for a shared space, find out if you have to pay extra for parking. Check on bike racks, nearby taxi services, and bus and subway locations. Check out the neighborhood while you are at it. Will you be unable to concentrate after three in the afternoon because every kid on the block is playing street hockey outside your window after school? Does the local pizza shop deliver to your desk?

The internal layout matters, too. Look for shared spaces that can accommodate your every conceivable mood and need. Can you sit by a window one day and in a dark corner the next? If you need privacy, is there a place you can go to make those phone calls? When a client comes to town and wants a face to face meeting, will you be able to reserve a small meeting room? Maybe you are the type of person who wants to do some stretches outside to relieve stress – is there a courtyard that can fit your yoga mat?

Whether you are a photographer, a graphic designer, an architect, filmmaker, or a writer, all work at home employees eventually need a change of scene that is more than a desk. Because most shared offices allow people to rent a space by the day, you might try giving different locations a test drive. Meet different people, explore different neighborhoods and, most important of all, taste test all of the coffee! When you find one that meets your needs and answers the above questions to your satisfaction, you might have your new home office away from home.

Are you looking for a shared office space in New York City? Corporate Suites offers shared office spaces, virtual addresses and conference rooms in several convenient locations across Manhattan. Visit one of our locations today for a tour.

Feb27

Career Tips from Superdry

Superdry

For any young person coming out of school or college finding the first job can be a daunting prospect. This may especially be the case if the dream is starting a career in fashion as the industry is notorious for its competitive nature, largely due to its popularity. Taking the first steps to attaining a position in the industry might seem like a mountain to climb.

Despite the reputation of job hunting in the fashion industry nothing is unattainable when the right boxes are ticked and effort is made. As with most job aspiration reaching the goal can be simplified by breaking down your targets that can help to visualise the steps that you need to take.

  • Experience and Portfolio – the difference between being successful in an interview and not making the cut can be as simple as the amount of experience that you have behind you. Taking opportunities to get into the working environment and challenge yourself will build your knowledge of what work you can thrive with and is right for you.

 

  • CV and Interview Follow-ups – Stand out from the crowd when sending your CV to a company or after interviews. Turning away an application is a lot easier when there hasn’t been a conversation between you and the employer

 

  • Look at your talents and use them – There are plenty of areas in the fashion industry which require a range of skills, don’t think that you have to be an expert fashion designer to be in the industry. Roles in marketing, writing, and finance all have a place in fashion; find your strength and follow it.

 

  • Manage your online presence – social media is an invaluable tool for keeping up to date with current trends in the industry as well as developments in the companies you’re aspiring to. Follow the people that are in the know with the key information that could help to give you the killer edge on others.

See additional guidelines for what’s looked for in the fashion industry with a full list of job roles in this article from Fashion-Schools.org.

Superdry are one of the most prominent international fashion brands to spring from the UK over the last two decades. Started in 2003 by founders Julian Dunkerton and James Holder, the brand distinguishes itself fusing American and Japanese-inspired graphics with British style. Celebrit­ies such as David Beckham, Bradley Cooper and Justin Bieber have worn and endorsed the brand.

Brand Director

Julian Dunkerton first entered the fashion industry in 1985 at the age of 19 through a government grant scheme. He now takes the role of product and brand director, focussing on the  creative force behind Superdry.

Is there any advice you would give to people, in their early twenties, looking to start a business?

You have to forget about objects and just try to be the best that you can possibly be in the niche that you think you have found. There are thousands of niches, it’s just a case of finding yours. Never think of yourself. It’s about your staff, your customer, and your business. You’re tenth on the list. If you are thinking that you are doing it for material things, then forget it, because you’ll never make the right decisions in business to build the business.

Is your specific route that you have taken something that you would advise others to follow? A lot of aspirational young people are beginning to consider university to be the default option.

I think it’s very typical for people like me to have not been to university. If you look at the serious entrepreneurs in this country you will find that a huge number of them have not been to university and out of the entrepreneurs that have been to university they become entrepreneurs because often of their particular skills base, so they go down a very narrow channel.

James Holder co-founded Superdry with Julian, sharing his drive and continued ambition for fashion. Also starting his career early Holder shares his journey into the fashion industry:

Superdry

What made you decide to get into the world of fashion?

I fell into fashion by accident! When I was at college, I was crazily being an expert in skateboarding, and somehow I saw that nobody is making that king of cool t-shirts for these skaters, so I started doing them by myself and selling them to others. From that, I saw that I can make a living out of it. So it was not what I love for fashion, it was what I loved for creativity. Even for this day, I don’t count myself as a fashion designer, but as a product designer.

What has been the best part about creating the brand?

We are obsessed with products, and also with creativity and with what we do. When things got tough, we see that it’s time to give more creative and expansion. You’ve got a different source of emotional attachment to each product you make, but you’re in love with them.  So whether it could be the smallest little accessory or the most incredible artisan of the jacket, you will have the same emotional attachment, so it is a joy to do this.  We’re a premium branded brand, but we think far for fashion and we have a completely dynamic clothes collection that changes on a weekly basis.

There are many avenues to take to get into the industry that you want to be involved with. Opportunities might not present themselves as being a direct step into the fashion world yet with building your experiences your path should follow where your strengths lie. And remember that with whatever role you decide to pursue it should be something that you love and enjoy doing above all else!

Contributor, Mathew Foster

Dec19

The Art of Building Relationships

Networking

“Networking” has become just a buzzword and we have lost sight of what is really behind networking – relationships. We have forgotten that your network isn’t the goal, but yet the relationship. My various encounters over the past few weeks has inspired this post to encourage others to go beyond the benefits and build lasting relationships.

Forget the network. Remember the relationship.

People often dive into networking thinking, how can this individual benefit me? That sort of thinking ruins the relationship immediately and inevitably destroys the network. Just recently I was approached at a holiday event and charity drive by a woman who immediately asked “where do you work?” There was no proper greeting, no introduction or even an exchange of smiles. I immediately lost interest in the possibility of a relationship being formed. I properly greeted her, told her my name, what I do, asked for hers and then politely walked away.

For some, approaching people may not be the easiest task. Food for thought – if you forget the network (the benefits for you) and just focus on genuinely getting to know the person, the approach will be that much easier. This leads to my next point…

Shared interests and values

To build a relationship, you must understand each other’s interests and values. More than likely you will share a similar interest with the person you are trying to connect with. To get to know what that interest might be, you have to be personable and authentic. Authenticity and even transparency (no that does not mean you have to bear everything on the table) will make the conversation easier.

The follow up

Follow up with the person that you share interests and values. Your follow up should consist of more than “it was a pleasure meeting you!” If through email or a personal hand written note, let them know why it was so great meeting them and always provide a call to action – maybe a follow up lunch or coffee to continue the conversation. The follow up will be the beginning of building an actual relationship, which will be more beneficial to your network.