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Throughout the Fall of 2018, CoreLink Administrative Solutions’ Learning & Development team hosted a number of Knowledge Cafes focused on enhancing team members’ skills and talents. Knowing they’d each be looking for new jobs in the near future, building confidence in networking, job hunting, and the like was key.

One of these Knowledge Cafes was constructed specifically around Networking & Community Involvement. Learning & Development’s Mitch Johnson facilitated the open forum session for a full room of members of Team CoreLink.

Prior to the first session, the Learning & Development team sent a company-wide invitation for the one-time session. Though it was held in-person at the company’s headquarters in Fargo, remote employees and those working in the Omaha satellite office were given video conference links to join.

Those in attendance included employees from multiple departments. Senior Software Engineer Jeremiah Weiss offered this feedback after attending the course: “You don’t need to be a social butterfly to be successful at building your network. This is great as a person (who) typically avoids social gatherings and small talk. With a little planning and some simple conversation skills, you can be successful.”

Johnson offered these great tips to use when attempting to build your professional network:

  • Be intentional. Plan for a specific time, place, and person. A time when your energy levels are higher so you’re probably more interested and engaged

  • Know what you want to get out of the interaction, but don’t come off direct or needy

  • Learn an elevator pitch (a quick, 30-second commercial that sums up your story)

  • Make the meeting about the other person; use active-listening skills

  • Use company websites, LinkedIn pages, colleagues, conference opportunities, and community events and meet-ups to find people with whom to network

Some great, national networking opportunities include:

1 Million Cups

CreativeMornings

DAYBREAKER

General Assembly

Master Networks

Meetup

Network Under 40

TedX