Tips for Navigating the Networking Process
Navigating the networking process and job search can be intimidating and stressful at times. Figuring out what you are going to do after graduating from the SMF program can be exciting as well as daunting. However, it is extremely worth it, in the end, to help you figure out your career goals and how to best present yourself to potential employers. As someone who has participated on several career readiness panels at Ohio State, here are a few tips that I think are helpful:
1. Add Breadth and Depth to your Network
Not every connection that you make will be one that leads to a job. Yet, they are still extremely important. Every time you connect with someone it gives you an opportunity to practice and learn something, and maybe several years down the line that connection could lead to something fruitful.
2. Figure Out What Matters to You
Determining where I wanted to be was extremely difficult since there are many factors to consider. Target locations, companies, job roles, culture, benefits, etc. were all things that I needed to figure out. Talking to industry professionals can help give perspective on differences between companies and lifestyles and factors that you may have never considered. It is important to know what you value and what your goals are. Some people want to be in New York at all costs, some want a work-life balance, and others want the chance to work at a smaller company to have more responsibilities. The potential factors are endless so getting advice from those in the jobs themselves can add invaluable perspective.
3. Be Patient!
This one has been the hardest for me to follow. I am someone who wants answers fast and hates to wait. I wanted a job secured in the fall. However, a lot of times in the job search process you will have no offers/leads and then you will get several all at once. Now I am at a point where I have accepted a great job offer. It is important to use step 2 to understand where you want to be in your career in the future and only take a job that will get you to your end goal. So, be intentional about what networking opportunities Ohio State has to offer and utilize them to prepare you for life after graduation.
At the end of the day, balancing all of the responsibilities and coursework of the SMF program while searching for a job can feel like a lot. But, if you take it one day at a time, everything will work out in the end! I am so thankful for the opportunities that this program has provided me, and I cannot wait for graduation in about a month!