After graduation, I was like most other graduates, shifting through job boards to find a role that’s somewhat similar to my my last three years of study.
I think the main thing I wish that someone told me when I graduated was the importance of building a professional network as early as possible.
The first role that I landed was an interim opportunity, selling door-to-door electricity. Though it was obviously not something that I wanted to pursue long term, the role actually taught me a lot about sales, business processes, leadership and how to work in a team environment. Little did I know that this would build the foundation for my career in recruitment – let alone that I would establish meaningful relationships with amazing sales professionals.
My first role in recruitment was for a boutique IT Rec Agency and it was here that I discovered LinkedIn. I was never been a huge fan of social media, and I didn’t really trust a social media website to help me network professionally. However, as most recruiters tell you, social media, particularly LinkedIn, is our industry’s holy grail to gaining a competitive advantage in the market.
After creating a standard LinkedIn profile, I really didn’t take the time out to develop my professional presence and used it more as just a database for me to find candidates from. In 2012 I was approached for a job opportunity from my current Managing Director via LinkedIn. It was after this opportunity that I started to see other benefits of having a strong online presence in order to network and expand my professional circles.
After joining “Sales Source”, my current employer, I truly started to realise how much reach I had in terms of connecting and networking with other professionals globally.This was when I aggressively developed my network growing it from less than 200 connections to now over 1500 contacts. It is through this experience that I begin to truly understand the phrase, “It’s not just what you know but who you know”.
LinkedIn not only helped me to build a better online presence, but to network with people that I would not usually be able to meet in daily life. I am who I am today because of the things that I have learnt and the mistakes I have made. There will always be things that we wish we could have done, however, your life is about learning from your mistakes in order to move forward. Although I wish I had understood the benefits of networking earlier, I have worked hard to ensure that I have reaped the benefits of this valuable advice. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the world of opportunity waiting to be discovered within online networking. You never know where it will take you.
WORDS BY MY TRAN Executive Sales & Marketing Recruitment Consultant at Sales Source. You can contact My via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need more career advice, why not sign up for our mentoring program and get personalised advice for your relevant industry?
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