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Networking can assist you dramatically in a future career. In this video employers and students talk about their networking successes and how you could successfully network and improve your chances whilst searching for a job.

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  • RC = Rhonda Calder, Head of Fast Stream Marketing & Diversity, The Cabinet Office
  • GE = Greg Edwards, Corporate eCommerce, Deutsche Bank
  • HD = Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor, Canary Wharf Group
  • NN = Nick Newman, Student, UEL

RC: In terms of how young people can use networking to increase their chances, I would definitely say, whilst they are at university, speak to as many people as possible. The Careers Advisor, the Employee Liaison Officer, Lecturers, Professors because, as I said, every opportunity, every contact, is an opportunity. It’s a really useful way for them to start talking about what they are interested in and, who knows, that contact could put them in touch with another individual to kind of take that conversation further.

GE: Networking has helped me dramatically in my career. My first big break came from being recommended for a role after meeting a number of people at a social event within my industry and that really catapulted my career to where I am today.

HD: One of the things that really worked for me is to phone people up who I’d met who were in the business that I wanted to get into, which at the time was public relations. Phone up some of the senior people in those public relations companies and say, "Could I come and see you for half an hour for a cup of coffee?" and, more often than not, the senior people say "Yeah, OK, for half an hour, I’ll sit down and talk to you over a cup of coffee". Because, it’s not a lot of their time, they’re not offering you anything, you’re not asking for anything apart from just a chat. But at the end of it, quite often, they were like, "OK, keep in touch, let me know how you get on, maybe there’ll be something here for you". I also got a really good network across the industry of people I just had a chat to and that really came in helpful later on when I was in the job because I could phone those people up.

GE: Social networking has an ever increasing role to play. It’s an opportunity for students to interact with business professionals on a professional basis around common interests, around areas of professional development and, ultimately, there are numerous jobs these days now posted on social networking and you may get a CV, you may get an email from different people advertising roles. It’s a chance for they themselves to advertise what they are interested in and maybe gaining a bit of knowledge in specific areas.

HD: Whenever you’re at an event, when there are business people present or people from the industry that you want to get involved in, you know, talk to them, go up and talk to them. See if they’re interesting people, if they’re people that you think might be useful or helpful to you, if they’re nice people to talk to and try and get their business card. And then follow up and say, you know,"Can I come and see you and have a chat afterwards?" It’s not just that initial sort of, you know, pinning someone in the corner and trying to get all the information out of them in one go. But, you know, just finding your way around and being friendly to people but also taking that information so that you can always contact them afterwards.

NN: I think one of the most important things for me throughout my career so far has been networking. Every time I go to an event or something related to my career, then I talk to people. It sounds so straight forward but talking to people and chatting to them about what you do is so important because you never know the next person is going to be. They might be your future boss.

HD: You can always get from one person, to any other person on the planet, in less than six steps. Now, if you think about that everybody’s connected, you already know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who’s the person that you need to talk to about getting a job. Or, about getting on in a particular industry. I’ll give you a quick example. If you’re at UEL, you may well know Femi Bola. Now I know Femi Bola. I also know Neil Kinnock, who was the former leader of the Labour party. Neil Kinnock knows Joe Biden, Joe Biden knows Barack Obama. So if you are at UEL, you’re already only four steps away from Barack Obama and that’s the way it works.


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