Connecting with others is one of the most important aspects of your career development
—for researching potential careers, networking with people in fields you’re interested in, seeking out or creating career opportunities, and looking for a job. All of your connections are valuable ones, whether they’re friends, family members, fellow students, employers, teammates, professors, roommates, or neighbours. For the purposes of beginning and furthering your own career, it is important that you value all the connections you have and continue to make new connections, particularly in the career field you’re interested in.
Ways to Make Connections
1. Identify networks
Start by taking a few minutes to look at who is in your current network. You’ll be surprised at how extensive your network already is!
2. Hang out with friends
This is the easiest way to start building your network! These are the people who know you best so they’re the ideal people to recommend you to others for career exploration or job search information.
Hang out with friends
3. Be a good neighbour
This is another easy one! Look around your neighbourhood, or your residence. Are there ways to get involved? Ways to make a contribution?
Be a good neighbour
4. Learn how to utilize your connections
Do you know how to make connections without being a nuisance? Take the time to learn acceptable networking behaviour so your connections with others will be more enjoyable and successful.
Learn how to utilize your connections
5. Join an online community
You probably already utilize social media like Facebook or Twitter, so you likely already have an online presence—but are you using it to help your future career?
Join an online community
6. Join a club or team
You never know who you’ll meet while participating in a club or on a team. It doesn’t have to be a career-related club either. Any club you’re interested in can provide opportunities to connect with others.
Join a club or team
7. Do volunteer work
While online and print research can be invaluable, there’s no substitute for getting information straight from the source!
Do volunteer work
8. Get involved in an activity
If you don’t have time to join a club or team, or commit to volunteer work, you can still get involved on campus or in the community. Look for opportunities to get involved in “one time only” activities or those with minimal time commitment.
Get involved in an activity
9. Become a leader
Leadership skills are highly valued by employers—and they’re fun to develop!
Become a leader
10. Participate in an internship
An internship—whether paid or unpaid—is an excellent way to connect with people in your field of interest and explore your fit for a particular occupation.
Participate in an internship
11. Get a job
Like volunteer work and internships, paid employment is a great way to increase your network, explore your fit for a particular field or occupation, and demonstrate to an employer all the qualities that would make you a good full-time employee after graduation.
Get a job