Last month, ABC Compas held another Food for Thought, where we get more information on and discuss a certain topic, usually while enjoying some good (Caribbean) food! This time the topic was “Job Opportunities on the Islands”. We had a joint call with Ictual, an IT company on Curaçao, Setar which is Aruba’s biggest telephone and internet provider, and CR38TE, a digital media company on Aruba. The attendees had a chance to ask them questions about there view on working on the islands versus working abroad. Then we had a presentation from Robert Rosa, on of ABC’s founders, where he told us about his unconventional yet successful career path and his latest endeavor with Antecy. Last, we had also a presentation from ABC’s former Voorzitter, Marson Jesus. He also told us about how he’s started up his career since graduating, and he gave some great tips on how to expand your network as well. We asked him to list his best tips so we could share them here on our blog.
TIP #1: Put yourself higher on the list. With this, you don’t have to network all by yourself.
Do a board position, committee work, a management function, become a team leader, or something similar. This automatically makes you the point of contact for the organization or for your team. People will need to reach you to reach the organization that you are representing. This means you’ll have companies and other organizations directly coming your way, instead of the other way around. You’ll automatically get to know new contacts and with that you’ll expand your network.
TIP #2: Use your vacation days wisely and effectively.
Vacation is usually for resting, partying, and chilling. But what about for meeting new people? Do you want to achieve something in a certain country and are you on vacation there? Or are you going home for the holidays? Take the time to schedule 1 or 2 appointments with people who can help you in the future. Save them to your list and call or email them every now and then. If you are going to emigrate there, you’ll immediately have a first or few points of contact that will be of great use to you.
TIP #3: Dare to start a conversation.
If you end up somewhere, don't sit still. Immediately engage in a chat and let them know that you are there. You would rather be a bit too bubbly at that moment and have people remember you, than being too quiet and not memorable at all. If the person you spoke to ever walks out of a meeting and needs someone to do a job, then at least you’re in their memory. There’s a chance they’ll even invite you to join the next meeting, and before you know it you’re expanding your network.
TIP #4: Use social media as professional media.
Yup, there it is again: LinkedIn. Whether you believe it or not, people find each other through LinkedIn every day. Create a profile and become active on the platform. And by active, I mean really active. Having a half-crafted LinkedIn profile, or one without a profile picture... your network just won't do as well. Use as many of the LinkedIn’s options as possible to create a good and complete profile. And yes, recruiters are also constantly chasing people on LinkedIn. If you have a nice looking profile, they will definitely bring you to the attention of their network.
TIP #5: Don’t be afraid to be assertive.
Waiting for a reply to an email that you sent three weeks ago is without a doubt a waste of time. Why don't you just pick up the phone and make an appointment directly with the manager of the company you want to visit? Why don't you simply skip the normal process? Just call the director and leave the recruiter behind. Just call the minister and let his assistant wait on the sidelines. Just approach the chairman directly, he was once in your shoes too. But you might be wondering how to get their contact information in the first place… BY NETWORKING!!!
Hopefully you can put these tips to use whenever you get the opportunity, and in that way create even more opportunities for yourself. A big thanks to Marson for sharing these tips with us.