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People often ask me how I got to where I am in my career today. At 33 years old, I truly believe that my career growth has depended solely on networking. I'm out networking almost every night of the week. Networking hasn't always been a requirement of my day job but I've found it to be a necessary tool for getting ahead.

Whether or not you're in your dream job, I strongly advise you to use outside of work hours to find people who are doing what you want to do. Surround yourself with those people by finding out where they go to network. Participate in conversations on social media. Join Facebook groups where like-minded people share ideas and events. I'm part of groups such as Diversability, Dreamers + Doers, and Personal Development Nerds. There are great events happening every night of the week. 

If you're still unsure where to start and you attend or attended college, I highly recommend reaching out to your college alumni network. After college, I moved across the country, from the east to west coast. I was able to tap into the same alumni network there. You'll be surprised how far an alumni network can spread, geographically and professionally. Several alumni connected me with professionals who I later volunteered and/or interviewed with.

Once I secured my first full time job, I networked across the organization and it ultimately allowed me to keep a job when the department I was in during that time was downsizing. I easily switched to another department since I had already built relationships prior to when things were changing. I was out one night and met someone who later became my next boss outside of the organization I was in at the time. 

Several years later, I moved back east. Within a few years, I was recruited by someone who I had met on the other coast. He recruited me to work with him in New York City, where I currently reside. After three and a half years at that job and more networking, I was offered my next role at USBLN, where I just started. I attended my first USBLN conference as a volunteer in August and was recruited after that. As you can see, networking is important to me and it got me to where I am today. If you haven't started already, I recommend that you start reaching out to people you admire in roles you desire. 

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Tags: Media, Networking, Social

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Comment by Janet - Great Lakes ADA Center on November 28, 2017 at 1:23pm

Great blog post, thanks Becky.  I also wanted to let Punch-In people know, Module 3 of the free Punch-In course has an excellent video interview with Anne Pryor on networking with social media. Anne is a Top LinkedIn Trainer, Nationally Recognized Online Brand Strategist and Career Coach. She works with job seekers, business owners, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing executives and CEOs to create their branded online visibility to attract and create successful business and employment opportunities.

http://success-network.punch-in.org/page/module-3-find-a-job

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