6 Ways To Get Ahead When You Don’t Have Connections

from Fast Company

Impact investor Nathalie Molina Niño gets a lot of emails from people looking to connect, and for good reason. After dropping out of college at 20 to run a startup, the former engineer spent several decades as both an intrapreneur (advising corporate giants like Microsoft and Disney) and entrepreneur (most recently as founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, which backs high-growth businesses benefiting women). Her Rolodex spans not only business and technology but also politics, entertainment, and activism. Networking guru and Never Eat Aloneauthor Keith Ferrazzi called her a “super-connector.”

Still, the challenge of cultivating professional connections isn’t lost on Molina Niño. She grew up in Los Angeles far more exposed to the garment industry her immigrant parents worked in than to venture capital. Her experience outsmarting the status quo and seeing other entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds do the same inspired her new book, Leapfrog. In it, she shares 50 hacks crowdsourced from leaders in her network to help others without pre-existing cultural and financial capital reach their business goals.

While she knows getting your foot in the door can be daunting, she is equally adamant that, with the right ingenuity, anyone can cultivate the connections and capital it takes to succeed. Looking to break in? Here’s where to start.

More here.


51 Responses to 6 Ways To Get Ahead When You Don’t Have Connections

  1. Deep Patel February 21, 2019 at 11:27 pm #

    Every professor in the Stillman Business School at Seton Hall always talk about the importance of networking and connections to build your career. Katie Sanders talked about ways to be successful without any connections. Getting good connections as a college student is tough and I have experienced that myself. It is still possible to get a good internship or job without a good connection however it becomes a lot more difficult. The statement that Mrs. Sanders made about how important it is to invite professionals to a networking lunch is critical in every business field. As a student, I can relate when the author said expending your energy in the right places. When I am searching for internships, I make sure I apply to jobs that have campus recruiting or have a lot of alumni working for them. The chances of landing an interview are higher if the company knows my university and have seen students like me in their company. Therefore, I am always making sure that I use my time and energy and put it in the right place instead of looking for jobs that are out of my reach.
    In addition, the point that really touched me was starting each approach fresh. As aspiring students we tend to be a little impatient with recruiters within an organization. They are constantly busy with emails and phone calls from many different people. In my business writing class, I have seen many emails where students have made errors and shown impatience. I saw students emailing two times in a couple hours because the recruiter did not reply back. It is important not to call out what they have done for you, or how long it has been since the last unsuccessful message. It is important to make them feel good not to make them feel guilty. It is critical to keep emails simple and straight to the point. The receiver does not have time to read through paragraphs of writing. I have learned not to say things such as “I emailed you a couple times, but I have not received an email back.” Therefore, it is easy to get impatient with professionals who take a while to respond but as students we have to patient and wait for our opportunity.
    This article is for people who want to increase there networking and communication skills to professionals. The key is to connect to people who match up with your specific goals and interests. It can be either by getting an invite to a conference or sending an email to create a relationship. Also, it does not matter if you are asking for ten minutes or an hour. No one will get time with the person they want to talk to if they keep on the track of a need to know basis. Just go straight to what you need, do not go around and wasting time asking pointless questions. Lastly, it is vital to nail your story, make sure you practice it and are confident in presenting it. The goal is to be compelling and the person will want to support your story however they can. Connections can be hard, but using these steps will help anyone in achieving there goals and aspirations.

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