When it comes to networking I like to network both online and in-person with people. Although it can be easier to reach out to people online and see your network grow there isn’t anything better than a human connection. I would recommend networking both online and in person to reach as many people as possible. Also it doesn’t hurt to connect with someone in person then follow up by connecting with them later online, helps keep you fresh in their mind.
How do I network in person? I started by getting to know all my teachers in college and making sure they remembered who I was; I also built connections with the students in my courses as well. From there I built connections with guest speakers who came to talk to us and past alumni from the graphic design program. I have since built my network to reach people all over the industry, although I would still consider my network to be small-medium size I am happy with what I have accomplished in the short time in the graphic design industry.
How do I network online? LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my main go to social channel for connecting with people, that is what it was built for. I landed my internship for school at a very well know design firm by connecting with the owner on LinkedIn and messaging him on there as well. Any and every job I have had I make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn to help build my network. Although LinkedIn is the main networking tool I use and is built for that purpose, another social channel I use to network on is Instagram. I wouldn’t say I use this social channel too much to network as it is built and used more from a social aspect, but it does help. I have also connected with people I have previously worked with on Instagram, I feel it helps build a more friendly and social network as opposed to a business network on LinkedIn.
For future networking I plan to continue using LinkedIn and Instagram to help build my online network and possibly consider taking it to the next level by using Facebook to help build more of a professional network and not just with relatives. As for networking in person, I still carry around business cards in my wallet just in case the opportunity ever presents itself. I am also attending a women’s networking event here in Ottawa that I am greatly looking forward to. I hope to attend more events like this to help build my network in the Ottawa area.