Helping exceptional college students prepare for and find renewable energy jobs.

Tips: Networking

Monday, March 18, 2013

 

 

 

I get sick of hearing it, but it’s true:  network, network, network!  You need to get out there and network when you’re looking for your next opportunity because it works.  However, it’s not something people like to do because it feels contrived.  Standing in the corner at some event with a crooked name tag on your chest, a drink in your hand, forcing a smile, trying to schmooze...ugh!  That’s not networking.  Here’s what it is:

  • Networking is genuine.  This means that you’re sincerely interested in the conference you attend, the webinar in which you participate, the user group to which you belong, etc.  Then you’re not faking it.
  • Networking is honest.  Feel free to let people know you’re looking for a new opportunity.  People won’t look down on you for being in the job market.  You’ll be surprised how many people out there will want to help you and them by letting you know if they’re aware of a job out there for you.
  • Networking is dynamic.  You need to keep your network fresh and keep your information updated.  Linkedin is an effective, easy way to network.  If you’re looking for a job now, don’t hesitate to send out a Linkedin “message blast” to all of your contacts.  Again, the results could surprise you.
  • Networking is a two way street.  You need to talk about your field and what you want to do with people you don’t know well, but who have similar interests.  You also need to reciprocate by helping people in your network when THEY look for new opportunities.

A final note about the positive future of renewable energy comes from President Obama's 2013 Inauguration speech:  "The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition. We must lead it."

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Dan McGrath has 9 years of recruiting experience, the last 4 of which have been with Clean Tech clients and candidates.  Most recently he was the in-house recruiter for Suntech America, Inc., a subsidiary of the world's largest manufacturer of solar panels.  Dan lives in San Francisco, has an MA in International Relations from Boston University, and speaks fluent Japanese.  He's also an avid bicycle commuter.