Your Career and You: “Connections…They Bring Us Together”


Publication1A series of events this past weekend really brought home the meaning for me of “connections.”

The first was…thanks to a blundering electrician from our town’s utilities department…a total loss of telephone and internet service for five l-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g-g days.

Thankfully, the chipmunks powering my Elizabethan-era cellphone were fully rested and ready to work.

But, as I write this…in day 3 of this cyber-isolation…I realize just how important and valuable connection can be.

  • I’ve been juggling details regarding a crucial meeting of a nonprofit organization’s board of directors.
  • News coverage of our unrelenting snow storms has prompted concern from my own family down in Georgia and my wife’s relatives in Taiwan and elsewhere…and they can’t easily get in touch with us.
  • I’m trying to line two students up with guest-writing gigs.
  • I have two online sessions…one a tweetchat, the other a combination phone/online event…in which I am supposed to play an active role.

How am I to communicate with others in all this? Other than the aforementioned diesel-powered cellphone, there is no way for me to easily connect with anyone. I’m coping, but that’s about it.

On to better stuff…

I received two messages from two former students…one from Curry College, where I teach most of the public relations courses in our undergraduate Communication major, and one at Regis College, where I teach part-time in the graduate Organizational and Professional Communication area.

The first wrote to let me know that, since she has transferred to another college closer to home, she has gotten actively involved in their PRSSA chapter and is dipping her toes more confidently into public relations as her major. I encouraged her to stop “dipping”…to dive in headfirst and start building her network of connections.

The second eagerly updated me on steps she has taken to improve her LinkedIn profile based on a session I did on the importance of social media in today’s job search. She was writing to tell me that, within days of having revised and revitalized her profile, she had connected with a local nonprofit and had secured an awesome internship.

Networking…making professional and personal connections…has become a de facto means of developing the visibility that increases your chances of finding that next great opportunity that isn’t advertised but is exactly what you’ve been dreaming about.

But it’s hard work. The contacts aren’t going to come to you…you have to go to them…meet them on their turf and demonstrate to them that you are serious about your search for success.

And this is the part that merges the on-line with the in-person worlds. You have to actually reach out to and connect with those whose attention you want.

It’s the old adage: “See and be seen.” So do your on-line research and exploration. Develop a plan of action.

Then…put on some socks…go out the door…and connect with people in person.

Try it…you’ll like it!!

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5 Comments

  1. Kirk, I couldn’t agree more. PR, despite all the channels through which we can market, is still about relationships. When I interview candidates, learning about how they build and maintain relationships is a crucial part of the conversation. Networking is certainly a part of that, as is actively seeking out positive relationships that may have value and 10 years from now.

    • Thanks so much, Mark….for validating what I “preach” 24 hours a day to my students…and for reading and commenting on my thoughts!

      Hope to see you this evening at the PRSA Boston/Publicity Club of New England crisis communication program.

  2. “The contacts aren’t going to come to you…you have to go to them…meet them on their turf and demonstrate to them that you are serious about your search for success.” Bingo! Great read, Kirk!

    • Thanks so much, Shonali! I just had an amazing chat wtih one of my PR “troops” who connected at a recent event with one PR pro who in turn connected her with another for a potential summer internship…”putting words into action”!! :-)

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