Networking 365

Name: Jeremy Bucket

Notes: Nice guy. Above average GPA. Involved in Beta Alpha Psi, but is not an officer. Has attended all the Meet the Firms and Banquets since second semester Junior year.

Grad Date: December 2008

Major: Accounting

Occupation: Unemployed

If I had a penny for every time I heard, “It’s because of The Economy,” The Economy wouldn’t be a financial issue for me. The term and everything it encompasses has become a scapegoat for everyone’s problems and as sick as I am of hearing about it, the truth is it has made the job market an ultimate fighting challenge. With less job opportunities and many qualified candidates, it is all the more important to use every resource to make yourself marketable and be able to show off that marketability.

Fortunately, in the accounting industry, there will always be a need for CPA’s. Jeremy recognizes this reassurance in his choice of study. After shaping up your personal product with a proper resume, good hygiene, and a presence on social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, get off the couch and make use of it! NETWORKING will be your biggest saving grace! A very smart man once told me that the most important part of life is “showing up.”

As Jeremy reads on, he is now getting frustrated because he has shown up to every available networking event and still doesn’t have a job! HOWEVER, what Jeremy doesn’t realize is that there are other events besides those typically known as Networking Events.

Going to networking events that are entitled “Networking Event,” would be like shopping at the most advertised sale in the world. EVERYONE interested will be there to get the best deals and the competition will be at its highest. It is necessary to attend and won’t hurt, but you can get more creative than that. If you start living your life as if every opportunity is a networking opportunity, you will introduce yourself to opportunities that you didn’t know existed. It’s not an easy task, but it can be done!

Understand that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. According to 80% of people get their jobs based on connections, knowing someone who knows someone. Think of it this way, wouldn’t you rather go to a restaurant recommended by a friend than choosing one out of the AAA Guide Book on your own? So to make those personal connections, SHOW UP!

Rules to Networking: You don’t want to just attend events and be a fly on the wall. You must actively make yourself known at the event in a professional way. Make it a goal to meet at least 3 connections at each event and follow up with those connections later on.

Typical Networking Events – These are the events that Jeremy has attended.

  1. Meet the Firms generally during recruiting season in the Fall.
  2. Career Fairs happen throughout the year. Put on my student organizations, Career Centers, and Academic Departments.
  3. Accounting Club Socials any event where recruiters and professionals attend are great venues for Networking
  4. Accounting Club Meetings the typical club meeting is a great way to get to know your peers, will be great contact in the future, and more importantly friends!
  5. Professional Organizations Ascend, ASWA, NABA, LBP. All great, focused organizations that specialize in networking.

Not-so-Typical Networking Events Opportunities – Jeremy did not consider these networking events. His frustration fades as he reads on.

  1. Class every day you step on campus, you are subjecting yourself to fantastic networking opportunities. The who in who you know can be found at school. Not only will it make attending class more fun, but you’ll find that if you get to know your faculty and classmates it will enrich your academic experience, making it more memorable!
  2. Parties one day you will attend a party if you haven’t already. Each guest has a different story, one of which may be able to either connect you to someone. Even better, you may be able to connect a new contact to someone you already know. Networking works both ways!
  3. The Bus this one doesn’t always work, but there are opportunities! Someone holding Wiley’s Intermediate Acct II bookwill most likely have something in common with you!
  4. Any place with people no matter where you are, there are opportunities 365 days a year. You have to be the shaker and make them happen. As in a chemistry lab, use good judgment and common sense. Ask questions and be interested!

The ROI of networking is not immediate! You’re not trying to get a job on the spot or sell yourself in a pushy manner. Networking is the art of meeting people, establishing and maintaining relationships, and connecting your contacts with others. Basically, you’re making friends and keeping your mind open to recognizing similarities between people. If you can say, “Jeremy! I want you to meet someone; they are involved with the NJSCPA and is also into Halo,” then you’re on your way to obtaining that networking lifestyle. If you don’t SHOW UP, I’ll assume it’s because of The Economy.

For another great not-so-typical networking event, try stopping by Roger’s 10-10-09 Test Drive event. You’ll be sure to meet other accountants and CPA exam candidates, plus, get some food, win some prizes, and get started on your CPA Exam Preparation!

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