I’ve been meaning to put these tips on my blog for a while, but I didn’t get around to it until now. These tips were originally tweets, but I thought that it would make more sense to have them on here (easier to reference and for posterity). So, without further ado. The tips:
1. “Networking” at parties is a joke. They’re usually large, loud and nobody’s going to pay any attention to you if they don’t already know you. Owen “Blakka” Ellis responded to this tweet with a line that I liked. “…Folks whispering in your ear, with liquor etc on their breath isn’t networking, it’s ‘not working‘ ”
2. If there’s somebody you want to meet and you have a mutual friend ask them to introduce you. If the person you’re asking thinks you’re a joke they’re not going to put their name on the line for you. You screw up, they look bad. If the person that’s doing the introduction isn’t respected by the person you want to be introduced to then…yeah.
3. Your online reputation matters. Trust me, it matters. Thankfully there are many tools at your disposal to showcase yourself, talents, services etc online. If you don’t have anything to showcase….well. A good starting point is a domain name that bears your name (e.g marcgayle.com, francinederby.com, shanakaybarnett.com, ryanmattis.com etc). A friend of mine, Kimroy Bailey has been doing a great job at this. Check out his blog, twitter page and facebook page for inspiration. If you’re looking for a job this is a great way to impress your potential employer. I inadvertently started working on my online reputation at 15 years old. This has paid off big time for me. Hint, do a google search for “Gordon Swaby” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
4. Volunteer your time and/or work for free. Great way to get some experience and meet new people. Among other benefits. (hint: Do some reading on The Rule of Reciprocity)
5. Try not to step on too many toes. “Too many” because you’re going to step on toes, it’s inevitable. ( I have a lot of stories about this, but that’s for some future blog post.)
6. It’s your duty to be aware of what is happening in the country (and other countries too) that you live in. Holding your own in a conversation is very important and first impressions matter. Keep informed.
7. And finally….READ. Read the Observer, read the Gleaner. Read tech blogs, read international news, read books etc. No better way to get smart [er].