In this month’s Glamour, they list 10 ways to be a total star at work. While I really like these tips for real world jobs: “Do not babysit for, do shots with, or touch the naked flesh of anyone you report to” and “Be as kind to the janitor as you are to the CEO”, I think it’s also worth mentioning how women our age can be a star at networking in any type of job this summer!
Whether you’re working to get a little more experience under your belt, add to your resume, meet new people, or even just make some money, I have some great tips to remember when working your summer job to increase your networking abilities and leave a great impression on your employers.
Make a Good First Impression
Show up early the first day and be prepared. Make sure you introduce yourself to all of your co-workers. Know the basic layout of the office and get a feel for how things are done, how coworkers interact, and the typical job environment.
Use Your Time Efficiently
Don’t show up late or leave early, unless you are explicitly told so. Show up at least five minutes before your start time and stay a few minutes late if you’re in the middle of working on something. If you’re bored and have nothing to do, ask somebody if they need help on a project, or ask your boss if they need you to get a jump start on something else.
Meet As Many People As You Can
Go to meetings, talk to people in the hallway, and meet people in other departments or other businesses that you deal with. You never know who you could make a connection with, and the more people you meet, the more potential connections you make.
Don’t Be Afraid to Expand Your Horizons
Don’t just have contact with your direct supervisor. Speak to all of the full-time employees in the office who may have different positions and responsibilities. Stop by their office for a quick chat, or talk to them when you see them in the elevator or the line for coffee, and use their experiences as a resource.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are all good places to start. If your accounts are safe for work and employers, connect with people you meet at or through work, especially if you work in a communication-driven industry that values these platforms.
Create the Best Experience For Your Situation
Don’t be discouraged if you’re working in a smaller company, or don’t get your first choice job, or if sometimes you have to do tasks you don’t like. Sometimes the best jobs are the ones you don’t expect to be, and you’ll learn the most in a place where they really rely on you and need you there. Even if you’re filing or fetching coffee, your boss will really appreciate that you do your job with enthusiasm, and may eventually trust you with more responsibility.
Visit Your Old Employers
Stop by once a semester to old bosses you want to keep in contact with if you’re in the area or it’s convenient. If you don’t feel comfortable stopping by to talk to them, send them an email or give them a call. Make sure they know what you’re up to now professionally and socially, and that they remember your name and your face. Make sure you get letters of reference and recommendations from them and always ask before using them as a reference!
Why it Counts
If you’re successful in your networking, you’ll find that your previous employers want to keep in contact with you, just as much as you want to keep connected to them. Even if you don’t know someone that well, you never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities they could present to you.
You don’t have to only connect with your bosses and coworkers. Connect with other interns, volunteers, students in your classes, or the president of a club you’re in. Any connection can help and sometimes people are more likely to connect with you if you seem to have a lot of connections already.
What Do You Think?
What are some ways you’ve networked at a job? What are the most useful platforms for connecting with old coworkers or bosses? Check out my about page to connect with me on Linked In or follow me on Twitter!
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