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“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”  Sound familiar? Many people were told this when they started to look for their first job.  The funny thing is, it’s true whether you’re new to the workforce or have been in a job or career for many years.

How do I get to know people?

Network, Network, Network!

There are many ways to meet people.  Many industries have associations that are great resources.  They often have job listings on their website or are connected to a job search service, such as ASTTBC’s Canadian Technical Employment Network (CTEN).  Often, there is an Upcoming Events section on the website, such as ASTTBC’s Coming Events page.  Many associations hold monthly or quarterly meetings where you can meet others who work in the industry. 

Local Newspapers are another good source of information for Upcoming Events, as well as publications such as BIV (Business in Vancouver) and BC Business Magazine.  Trade or Home Shows are worth attending to gather information about companies that interest you.

Attend Events.  People do business with people, not business cards.  Many people think Networking is about trying to sell themselves in a short span of time and they do that through handing out their business card to as many as people as possible.  The problem with this method is they don’t make an impression on the person and their business card tends to wind up in the garbage.

Instead, aim to connect with people. try to learn more about them and what they do, and what you can do to help them. If you give out business cards to three people, who will likely remember your name when you call, consider that a good event.

Catch up with past or present colleagues through social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Set up information interviews with people you meet or people you already know to find out more about positions or companies that interest you.

Social Networking Websites

LinkedIn is a professional networking website where you can keep informed of current events or news in your industry.  Facebook is a personal networking website with some potential for business connections and Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: "What's Happening?"