Your Network Is Your Networth
There’s a part of me that I can’t believe this semester is coming to an end. It only felt like yesterday that I opened up my laptop, logged into Zoom, and was greeted by Wendy Greenwood and the rest of our Digital Marketing Seminar class. These past few months have flown by, but so much has happened in this short time. Getting the chance to listen and speak to a number of individuals working in the digital marketing industry has been an incredible experience. From content marketing, B2B, and social media, each speaker brought their own individuality and essence into the virtual room, and I left every seminar feeling more focused and humbled after each presentation.
Key Takeaways and Lessons
Cathy Mcknight from Content Advisory was the first guest in our class, and she left one of the most important lessons I would remember:
“Start Saying Yes.”
Cathy encouraged us to expose ourselves to new things in careers by not declining opportunities. It made me reconsider how I viewed my career path, thinking back to moments in my past when I said no to things, and what could have happened if I said yes. Based on Cathy’s experience, having the ability to say yes can dramatically impact your career. Through her, I’m slowly learning to embrace the risk, make the attempt, and see how it will affect my growth in my career journey.
A few weeks later our class welcomed Alyssa Biasucci and Melissa Cicconi, customer success managers from Hootsuite. It was a great experience to learn the deeper insight that goes into social media marketing. Alyssa and Melissa’s group assignment helped me learn a vital aspect of marketing:
Whether it’s a full-fledged campaign or a simple tweet, it’s important to let your natural creativity blossom and shine throughout every aspect of your work. In terms of my career options, this activity left me feeling less restricted as far as knowing my own capabilities. I find that I have a bit more freedom, and it’s something I’ve started to notice through my own job. I find myself experimenting more, testing the limits of my creativity, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Lastly, Aadhar Mehta from last week is a graduate of the B413 program and works as an account coordinator for Omnicom Group. One of his key takeaways (Besides a Starbucks gift card) was that we need to use Linkedin the same way we’d use Instagram.
“Use Linkedin anytime or all the time.”
That’s to say, use it frequently and if you need to, obsessively. I’ll admit that I have been downplaying what Linkedin can offer. Although many of our professors have encouraged us to share our blog posts and assignments on the platform, I haven’t really done that as much as I should have. It could be a sense of anxiety I have with the platform considering its professional use, but whatever may be stopping me needs to cease. Aadhar’s advice has given me that little push I needed to start using Linkedin more effectively. Considering that many employers will flock to Linkedin to look for talent, being active on the platform is a huge plus that could make me stand out.
There are so much more tips and lessons I’ve learned from every speaker in the course, but these three have left me with the knowledge I think I really needed going forward in the future as I continue to network. There’s a quote that one of our professors Kyle Ashley posted recently that sums up everything I’ve learned throughout these seminars:
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Growth only exists in discomfort.”
For a long time I’ve been in this bubble where I was too comfortable with where I was, the advice that our speakers gave was asking me to do things that I found too strange and doubtful. However, if I don’t make the change and start putting these lessons into practice, I’ll never see myself grow throughout my career.
How I networked (and plan to continue to network)
Throughout the course, I’ve made it a goal of mine to connect with our speakers, professors, and fellow classmates to build a larger network. I was amazed to see and hear what they had to say, what backgrounds they came from, and how they brought that into each and every class. The amount of knowledge and networking advice they showcased was incredible to learn about. One key piece of advice my network introduced to me was the wide array of job-finding resources that were open to me. I’ve always found myself trapped between Indeed and Workopolis, however, resources don’t stop there.
Some other resources I looked into include:
The company(s) — We were encouraged to reach out to companies. A great way to get our foot in the door.
Linkedin — Tying into what I said previously, using Linkedin and staying active will result in more job opportunities catered to what I would like to do.
Our Connections — Interacting and asking other connections I know about opportunities with their companies or a colleague of theirs.
It’s one thing to add people to your network, but it’s another to actually engage with them. One thing I’ve started to do more of is keeping in contact with my network. This can range from responding to their posts or other activity, to reaching out to them and starting a conversation. A tip that Amanda Lee had mentioned was that she kept in touch with her clients by doing things beyond the workplace. I believe this shows that you actually care and are interested in a person’s life. It makes the relationship less monotonous and more engaging. Doing so could open a few doors for me as I journey through my marketing career journey. A big part of marketing is being able to converse and sell yourself, the more you engage with your audience or network, the bigger the outcome.
This leads me to how I got my current job and upcoming co-op position with Lorac Communications. Lorac is a broadcast company located in Brampton that provides entertainment to the Caribbean and South America. Thanks to a family member, I was able to meet other people within their group who worked in the film/television industry. By networking and selling myself, I was able to land a part-time position with the company as a video production intern back in September, and as of May, I’ll be starting off as their new social media intern.
Tips and Best Practices
There were a ton of tips and tricks we learned on how to continue networking ourselves in the future, however, there are three that stuck with me the most that I need to share:
- ) Keeping in touch: Do more than just accept the friend request, interact with your network, and get to know them better.
- ) Don’t sell yourself short: Know your worth, develop more confidence within yourself. This will change how you see yourself and in turn, make you feel more at ease with developing connections and meeting new people.
- ) Attend Events: Whether virtually or in person. Make the move to go and meet people within the industry, it’s a great way to practice marketing yourself to other people in real-time, as well as expanding your network.
I’d like to thank all of our guest speakers for taking the time to join us every Wednesday afternoon, and a huge thank you to Wendy Greenwood for organizing these seminars and encouraging us to be engaged throughout the semester.