It is a well-established fact that networking is very effective in any quest for jobs that can start a career. This search can be all the more difficult if you are a first-generation immigrant and do not have any social or family ties to fall back on for support, mentally, physically, and financially.
You are not alone
A first-generation immigrant is likely to feel that there are no people who can help and most of the other people they know are in similar circumstances. At the same time, you have to make a start with getting to know people who are known to others close to you and this can start your career networking.
Professional networking can be very effective in helping a first-generation immigrant to look for jobs that can help to launch a career. It is a well-known fact that most positions are filled in organizations through referrals, and human resource managers find this saves them the task of vetting the capabilities and personal attributes of any new candidate that they take on.
Beginning Your Career Networking
1) Join Professional Organizations
It is best to start career networking by joining professional organizations like BeVisible. This will immediately give you access to a number of people who are already working in the same field and whose experiences can help you to become familiar with the prospects and possibilities within that profession.
Joining such organizations allows attending conferences and meetings that can help greatly to help spread your network. It can always help if you volunteer to undertake any administrative or any other work for the organization as this can help you to get in contact with many other people whom you will come across during the execution of any responsibilities given to you.
2) Join Job Clubs
Joining a job club or many other such social organizations like those found in Meetup can also help you to be closer to the chances of launching your own career as a first-generation immigrant. Be active on the social media and maintain an online presence that is positive. It can always help if you have your own blog or other web presence.
It is highly likely that any other first generation immigrants like yourself will use this to contact you and keep in touch and this can greatly help to expand your network of like-minded people who have similar needs and aspirations.
3) Join Seminars
Take part in informational interviews and seminars that many professionals conduct. This can greatly expand your own knowledge about your chosen career and can help you to decide on the right job for you for your career development.
One example of this type of networking is the seminars that Hispanic Pro provides, like the upcoming Latino Leadership Intensive in Chicago, IL this May 16th. You will get first-hand knowledge from people in the profession and can take advantage of their knowledge.
It can be a waste of time asking people for jobs but learning about their careers and experiences can help you to decide on whether you are going in the right direction for building up a career.
Career Networking Takeaways
Career networking must always be pursued with an idea that any relationships you form must be mutually beneficial. It has to be a two-way street where information and any help flows in both directions. Any person that you are in contact with must also have the assurance that you also have information that can be of help. When you contact any other person, who is part of your network, they must be fully aware that they can just as well decline any request as well as accept it, and that both these alternatives are equally acceptable.
Express gratitude for the response and move on. When you do so, the people you are in touch will remember you and will be more inclined to help you when they are in a position to do so.
Building a career network is not an easy thing to do and can be especially difficult for a first-generation immigrant who is rather short of contacts. You must be equally prepared to give something before you can ask for anything. In order to ensure this, you first need to have skills or knowledge that others may require.
This knowledge gives you a position of power and you are not just a supplicant looking for a job. Develop skills that are in demand, even if it means you having to start studying again.