Sonya and I met this summer at a Fashion Group International Chicago chapter event while Sonya was job searching and trying to figure out if the move to Chicago was her next move. She recently graduated college and was taking every opportunity to meet anyone and everyone she could so that she could start her career on the right foot. Sonya struck me immediately and once I sat down and we got to know each other, I knew her future was bright. She is a master of networking and just graduated college. Sonya, take it away!
Networking Your Way to the Top
Written and Experienced by Sonya Dhindsa
Picture yourself walking into a room where no one knows you. Then, picture yourself in a room where everyone knows you. The latter sounds ideal, right? The difference between the two is a key word in every working girl’s career: networking.
When I attended my first networking event after graduating college, I felt like a fish out of water: the only recent college graduate in a room of working professionals. After thinking about it, I put the situation in a new perspective. Essentially, I was “the new girl” because no one knew me, which gave me an advantage. I had the opportunity to make an impression without any prior biases.
After the event, I realized the importance of networking. It is not just about making new connections, but making an impression. Tell the person you are networking with something memorable, something you share in common, and why the two of you are a good connection for each other. Essentially, separate yourself from the other fifteen people they will meet.
Networking is a word you will hear for the rest of your career, indicating the importance of it. Networking will do more than build your contacts: it will help your career evolve, grow, and expand. Furthermore, let others help you network. A close family friend helped me get my foot in the door when I graduated, and I will forever be grateful for her.
Regardless of the phase in your career, we all started out as “the new girl.” But, with hard work, determination, and a great manicure, you will be “the it girl” in a room.
A current Working Girl,