Networking Tips

Posted on Monday, Dec 10, 2018

Can simply being yourself land you a conversation to moving on, opening a door, or taking a step forward in one’s professional career and development?
There are three important characteristics that I have learned while navigating in D.C. that will maintain your own personal self-while at the same time gaining reputable reputation.
First, your passion that motivates you such as the values, ideals, and issues that matter most to you should drive your core attitude. Working in a civil rights organization you get to express your values and ideals everyday when it comes to working and helping with marginalized communities. The amount of passion, drive and genuine care for the community is how I landed my internship and the commitments and work I was already doing back in Texas showed my office that before I even called I had already been doing some of the work that they do everyday. Find what motivates you and what your values are, be able to discuss why they matter to you and let people know what you’re doing to work on those issues. The desire to solve problems you deeply care about will catch people’s attention.
Second, effort towards creating and maintaining professional relationships is another key component to networking. A lot of people I have come into contact with are from very different generations and they appreciate emails and phone calls to bump yourself up on their radar and show that you actually care.
Third, making sure to maintain yourself, know who you’re around, and to have a good work ethic. Be sure you’re completing the tasks assigned to you timely and be sure to ask if there are other projects or objectives that you could possibly assist with. But make sure to not be overwhelmed; as in do not ask for more work if you are still struggling with the original task given. Some people in the office will have different preferences on how work should be done, some more old school than others, make sure to cater the work for the person who assigned it, even though it might take extra time it shows that you care and that you pay attention to detail.
Making sure to be yourself and maintaining a professional work ethic will guarantee successful and beneficial networking.

Joshua Martin
League of United Latin American Citizens
Washington, D.C. | fall 2018