Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at
As a proud member of Connect: Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn, I enjoy reading and engaging in discussions relevant to women’s issues. The fellowship with other professionals is priceless, especially in light of the growing importance of online networking. Recently, Christine Sternfels, Founding Director of A Dollar A Day For A Year, posed an interesting question to members of this group:
If you knew then what you know now,
what advice would you give to your younger self?
In the discussion that followed, several incredibly talented and accomplished women offered a wealth of candid career and life strategies. I felt compelled to share them with you – not only because I am a sucker for a good quote, but because I believe there is value in taking a moment to learn from those who have gone before.
The advice that follows is categorized based on focus and will be presented in three parts. This post is the first in the series, focusing on advice specific to career and education. A second post will offer success tips related to relationships and raising a family, while a final post will focus on life in general (finances and health/diet). I hope you’ll find the comments as inspiring as I did!
1. Keep your mind clear and open to new experiences. Education doesn’t always come out of a book, it also comes from living life and learning from the good and bad things that come your way. - Pam Coleman - Student Services Secretary at Crouse Hospital College of Nursing
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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at
If active networking is not part of your current job search strategy, it really, really, should be. Today’s economy has left countless job seekers eager for employment opportunities, and employers often experience an overwhelming response to position postings. With so many strong candidates waiting in line, many employers find it easier to fill job openings directly instead of advertising on job boards or with placement agencies. The result? CNN has estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised and instead filled through networking and employee referrals!
I hope that statistic made you wonder how many job opportunities you’ve inadvertently missed out on. Never ever underestimate the power of your connections during your job search. Networking opportunities exist all around you – not just at professional conferences or business meetings. You never know who might be sitting next to you on the train, or who might share an elevator with you during your lunch break. Show a sincere interest in those around you, as that might just be the seed needed to start growing a mutually beneficial networking relationship.
It might not come naturally to everyone to strike up conversations with near strangers. Just like riding a bike, practice will make perfect. You might choose to start building your networking skills with everyday people who are not intimidating, and then work your way up to professional networking events with higher level executives. You might find this recent Forbes article helpful for finding non-awkward ways to network with others in everyday situations. Read the rest of this entry