One of the most helpful things I do as I make progress in my career transformation is to be open to meeting as many people as I can who work in the industry I’m moving into. I started out small, knowing very few people working in digital or at a design firm or at a tech company but as I meet people, my network grows. People enjoy talking about what they do and helping others who want to learn. People are proud of the work they do and it’s their way of giving back.
So, I set up in-person meetings at my contacts' convenience. Meeting in person is critical as it establishes a good report and allows me to get the person’s full attention. It's also more fun and I have a chance to show some personality.
I make sure to leave every meeting with the following:
- Insight on information specific to the industry, role(s) I’m curious about and very importantly, what steps I can take to learn and develop.
- Another contact. I make a point to ask the person if they know and are willing to put me in touch with some other folks who might be able to and want to help out.
I meet with as many people as I can, even if they may give me very similar information as another person who I’ve spoken to – There is something to be said about getting different perspectives. Even when a meeting is not what I had hoped for, I have always been able to take at least one positive from the experience.