August 16, 2018

Tips for Networking Your Way to a Job

Eighty precent of jobs are not posted online. So how do you find those open jobs and the hiring managers? An over-looked way to network with industry professionals or like-minded individuals is to join a group. Hiring managers specifically look for people who proactively contribute to their community, present at events and mentor others. But the benefits of joining a group go beyond just networking. Groups give you the social life that many people may leave behind due to their commitments to work/family/school.  

Story time! The first thing I did when I moved to Arizona was join a group that would provide me with that social aspect that I knew I would need to be successful. As an Australian, I grew up playing Australian Rules Football (footy) but stopped when I moved to the US for college. My graduate coursework and final project focused on how to expand the game here in the United States. I joined a local club just to see how it was. Within a few weeks, I felt like I had 30 new friends.

Joining the Arizona Hawks has also helped me professionally. Not only am I actively networking, but my own graduate work is being used by the club. I am writing and creating content for them, which not only keeps my mind sharp, but gives me a way to improve my artistic passions.  

Maybe joining a group is not as easy for you. Maybe you get nervous talking with new people. That feeling is totally normal. Try out these icebreakers:

  • Why did you come to the event tonight?
  • What do you think about [an exciting piece of relevant industry news]?
  • What’s your story?
  • What are you working on?
  • How did you hear about this event?
  • Where did you get your [bag/necklace/shoes]?

Go into it understanding that networking and getting a job is not the only reason to join a professional group. It’s okay to join a group for the pure fun of it all. If anything, it allows you to build communication and teamwork (hmm, wonder when those could come in handy?).

Always remember to ask how you can help the other person. People will see right through insincere attempts to speed network your way to a job. Instead, join groups such as Girls in Tech PHX that focus on supporting the community and mentoring young people.

Check out a few local groups that may pique your interest: 

https://www.meetup.com/Phoenix-ReactJS/ 

https://www.meetup.com/Desert-Blockchain/ 

https://www.meetup.com/phxmobi/ 

https://www.meetup.com/Central-Cyber-Security-Meetup/ 

https://www.meetup.com/UX-in-Arizona/ 

https://www.meetup.com/HackerNestPHX/ 

https://www.meetup.com/AZ-Cyber-Warfare-Range/ 

https://www.meetup.com/Phoenix-VR-For-Good-Meetup/ 

https://www.meetup.com/Game-CoLab/ 

https://www.meetup.com/Outgoing-Introverts-of-Phoenix/ 

Need help identifying groups to join? Not sure what to say to your new connections? Reach out: career&industryservices@uat.edu!

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