Build Relationships to Build a Career

If you’re coming up on graduation, and you’re looking to start your career–this post is for you. If you are a year or more away from graduation, then this post is really for you!

Starting and building a career can be a daunting task…that is, unless you invest time and effort upfront to build meaningful relationships. I think if you do this early, and often, you’ll find that your career will develop over time.  This will help you avoid a ‘start-from-scratch’ approach every time you want to make a change.

You might be saying: “Meaningful relationships? I just need a job!” And, that’s a fair statement–but I think it’s one that won’t serve you well in the long-run.

The days of blasting out resumes online are dead. Instead of waiting until a few weeks before graduation and digging through job postings– start making a point to build relationships with people that you can learn from. Online tools for networking (websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogs) are great–and they can be used to reinforce your relationships made offline.

Where to get started?

  1. Your personal network: Friends and family are your closest existing relationships. Everyone knows someone.  Make sure you tell your family and friends what you want to do or learn about. (I actually landed an internship through a family member’s connections).
  2. Professors: A few things make your professors and faculty valuable to your job search.
    It’s likely that they know many people in the industry around the subject they teach. They also know other professors–who know other professionals! The best way to approach this?  Ask your professors if they know anyone you can set up an informational interview with.
  3. Professional organizations: A few minutes spent researching online can turn up a list of organizations that you may be interested in joining. Most of these groups have special rates (if not free) for students.
Getting started is the only hard part here.  Once you have built a small number of meaningful relationships, I think you’ll find the value you receive is enormous over time. Graduating and starting a career can be intimidating, but building relationships and connections will really help you navigate through your future.


Jonathan has broad ranging experience and currently works as a Customer Success Manager at Responsys, Inc.  He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he majored in Marketing.  He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, where he also had an internship during college, and he worked for Expedia in an account management role for their North American lodging business. Jonathan is an avid enthusiast of all things marketing, economics, and travel. And, he is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.  Connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@jonathanpetrino), LinkedIn, and his website.


Related posts:

  1. How to Build a Stronger Network
  2. Serious about Finding a Job? Read This.
  3. Developing a Vogue Career – Part II

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