What are you looking for in your career? Maybe you’re looking to advance, receive a promotion or change what you do completely. How will you get the role you’re looking for? We all talk about networking and how important a network is to obtain a coveted position because many jobs are never advertised. Who you know and who knows you are often important to a successful job search. Of course, developing your network takes time and energy. You can’t just call on someone when you need a job. The best time to build your network is when you don’t need it.
There are many different ways to network, but one that has been extremely helpful to me over the years has been my involvement with the nonprofit world. I have been involved with dance, music, theatre and the United Way. In fact, my first direct exposure to Kaplan University was at a nonprofit function.
How does one become involved with a nonprofit? The first step is supporting the organization you’re interested in—through your time and your talent. As with everything else, passion helps immeasurably. If you like sports, get involved with your local Little League. If you like children, become a Big Brother or Big Sister. If you like the theatre, see how you can volunteer at the theatre in your neighborhood. If you have a passion for a particular disease, support it. By getting involved at the grass roots level, you will meet people who will introduce you to others and so your networking begins.
Where can you find the time? It may be tough while you’re juggling school and work and your family. Even if you can only eke out a few hours a month, however, the nonprofit you support will be grateful. You can also begin to plan now for the time when you will no longer be at school. And even if you never get a job as a consequence of your nonprofit involvement and you never get asked to be on a nonprofit board, you will be giving back to your community which will give back to you in countless ways.
Also, don’t forget to network with Kaplan University Career Services, which provides comprehensive career planning to alumni and students at all levels of study. Be sure to visit them and take advantage of their services through the CareerNetwork on the KU campus portal.
And they are eager to work with you!
Dr. Betty Vandenbosch
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