The Importance of Building Relationships

Every time I meet someone who is looking to enter the job market or is making important decisions for their future, I have one piece of advice for them:

“It is not what you know. It is who you know.”

I learned this lessons in college, where they professed volunteering and networking as important parts of building your career. (Another thing I advise every young person I meet to start working on)

I like to further this point even more with this quote: “The more people who know you’re awesome, the better.”

I find these principals especially important in my new home of Halifax.

A lot of the job opportunities I have found here have come directly or indirectly from contacts.

I recently went to an unveiling of an employment survey done by a Fusion Halifax action team.

It talked about the struggles people have to find a job in this city.

One issue the survey brought forward was that around 80 per cent of jobs aren’t even posted!

The panelists at the event made the point that it is important to meet people in your field and build relationships that can connect you to job opportunities in the future. They even discussed meeting leaders in a company you would like to work for and asking questions about the industry. They said it makes you look really smart and motivated!

The event was great for me, because it reiterated the actions I’ve been using to find a job since my first visit last May. (And I also found a new contact who subsequently set me up with another person!)

In May, I went on a vacation to Halifax so I could network with PR professionals who knew some of my contacts in Ottawa. It was an amazing trip and it really gave me a head start when I moved here in September.

I also joined CPRS Nova Scotia and Fusion Halifax when I arrived. Both of these organizations have given me many opportunities to network and volunteer.

I cannot wait until I settle on a career I enjoy and start giving something back to the people who helped me along the way. Making sure your relationships are mutually beneficial is the best way to keep them strong.

Check out this blog post on “The Art of Schmoozing” for a step-by-step guide to networking/schmoozing.

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