If you want a job you’ve got to work it – ‘it’ being your stunning, accessible and ultimately lovely personality. Resident people-person LARISSA BRICIS shares her tips for turning heads.
Unless you’re one of those people claiming that they study for the education – “Oh, I just love to learn!” (get out pls) – you need your degree to turn into a job, right? The theories you’re learning will earn you a glorified piece of paper, but it’s networking that will really set you apart from the other hopefuls. If you’re a little bit in the dark, networking is the totes profesh art of building industry relationships with people who can help you achieve your career goals. Here’s our rookie’s guide to getting schmoozy.
Lean on me
Contacts don’t have to be Richard Branson or Clive Palmer (lel) in order to be useful. Start at the bottom: talk to your friends and family, and their acquaintances. Potential contacts are everywhere, just waiting to share their brilliance with you. As Bill Nye says, “everyone you meet knows something you don’t.”
There’s always the Seven Degrees of Separation theory, which suggests that a famous person (or, in this case, an industry heavyweight) is separable from you by seven contacts or less. Exploiting this will propel you much further than you might imagine. I’m connected to Deborah Mailman by two degrees and I once talked to Dr. Harry Cooper for twenty minutes #cashincheques.
Befriend a polar bear
‘Cause you’re gonna need some A-class ice breakers. The best ice breakers are light-hearted, humorous, steer clear of controversy, and focus attention on others within the conversation. If you’re lost for inspiration, try talking about yourself in the third person, divulging your irrational fear about the secret lives of spiders, or initiate a lively round of ‘I Never’, because none of those could possibly backfire, right?
Don’t be a dick
Once you’ve made some connections, keep in contact with them. And that doesn’t mean the insincere ‘Happy Birthday!’ post on Facebook. Striking up a genuine relationship with your contacts will increase the chances that they’ll seriously consider you for that job or internship when the time comes. For extra brownie points, establish some topics of interest that aren’t job-related, such as pasta shape preference, or an affinity for candle-making.
Keep your eyes peeled
The overlords of UTS have a vested interest in your professional success, so they’re making heaps of professional networking schemes available to you. All you have to do is take your eyes off that baben’ babe in your lecture, and glance instead at initiatives like:
BUiLD (Beyond UTS International Leadership Development) is a global leadership program with a focus on sustainability and social justice.
UTS: Soul Award encourages students to use their skills in the real world, developing leadership skills and establishing meaningful networks.
The Big Lift is an ongoing non-profit community service project. Students travel by bus through NSW and Queensland, stopping in six towns to help under-resourced community organisations.
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