Once you’ve achieved success from your entry-level job search, your work isn’t over. Not only do you have a new job to get started on, you also have the opportunity to add valuable connections to your network that can help you both personally and professionally down the road.
While working to build your network it’s important to remember that just as you are interested in expanding your contacts, others are interested in expanding their own to help them out down the line as well. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at how you develop and build a network within your organization, and consider some simple tips to help you along the way.
1. Look Outside Your Team
One of the fundamental entry-level job skills that college graduates should learn is networking within your job. This does not mean building relationships within your own team, but rather looking outside that set of people to those in other departments, teams, or business units. Building relationships and seeking collaboration opportunities is not only beneficial to the company; it builds your network.
2. Variety – the Spice of Life
While networking is important with entry-level jobs, it is equally important to diversify your network. That means building relationships with the right people. Look to engage with people who have a variety of skills and viewpoints and who are at different levels in their careers.
3. Casual Relationships Are the Way to Go
While you may think the goal is to build strong relationships with others, this is not always necessary or advised. A casual acquaintance can be very valuable and is much less time-consuming. An occasional lunch or coffee after work to touch base with from another business unit is sufficient to keep that part of your network going. Quick pop-ins to say hello and offer any help is always a great way to keep yourself valuable.
4. Getting in With the Veterans
People who have been in an organization for years are great network contacts for those in entry-level jobs. They know a lot of people and they are a mine of information, guidance, and assistance. When you need relevant information or input for a project, these people are prime sources for you to turn to and are often more than willing to help.
5. Reaching Out
If you are struggling to get in with the veterans, use the people you have already networked with to assist you. That’s when your casual coffee or occasional lunch will pay off with an introduction to someone higher up the corporate ladder from whom you want to learn. Keeping this connections maintained may seem fake at times, but keeping people close and taking a serious interest in their life at the company and how you can help them can go a long way.