Connecting with Family & Friends

You might not initially consider family and friends when it comes to networking, but they can be your biggest allies and resources. You never know who has a link to someone who can help you learn more about a field or uncover job leads.

A Great Place to Begin

No matter who you are connecting with, do your homework first. As you reach out, be clear about your goals, and conduct intial research if you are targeting a specific field or organization. If you can impress someone you already know, they will be that much more likely to extend their personal network.

Explore your personal contact list.

Networking is less intimidating if you start with people you know or have something in common with. As you begin networking, start with:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Coaches or advisors
  • Professors
  • University administrators or staff
  • Supervisors or co-workers

Make the most of family events.

Family gatherings and events might not seem like networking opportunities, but these are a great time to share your plans. Are you looking for an internship? A job? Do you want to talk to someone in the field? Even though these events tend to be more casual, take a professional approach. You have to create a good impression before someone will share their time and contacts. 

Consider your social connections.

You’re most likely connected with friends and family via social media. Now that you’re thinking about your career, reconsider how you’re using it. Social tools are a good way to reach out to friends and family you might not see regularly to alert them to your goals and interests.

An important tip: take a time out to review your online reputation at the beginning of the process. Your profile, photos and interactions will determine the impression others have of you.