Category Archives: Networking

The People to Connect with At Each Stage in Your Career

Networking is important to finding a job, a mentor, and moving forward in your career, but depending on where you are on the career ladder, some connections are more helpful than others. Here are the people who will help you most at each stage of your career.

These relationships take a lot of energy and time cultivate and maintain, so focus on the right ones for where you’re at, and where you want to go next, in your career. Connecting with only upper management or extremely experienced people won’t always be the most helpful.

  • Just Starting Out: When you’re looking for your first job, or first transition to a new job, reach out to your family and alumni. Both are groups that you already have a connection with, which helps when you haven’t been working long enough to build a strong network.
  • Three to Five Years In: Look to a former manager for a mentor or solid referral as you make the jump up the career ladder to other opportunities. If you’re interested in taking on a junior-management role, a recruiter can help you find the right position.
  • Mid-Career: Former coworkers who are now at other companies are a strong source of referrals when you want to move jobs, or even switch careers.
  • Senior Level: If you want to find open senior level roles, keep in touch with people you’ve managed before and been a great boss to. They’re the ones who can vouch for you and let you know when senior positions open up at their companies.

While the above list focuses on the people who can help you most, remember that professional relationships are a two-way street. None of these people will help you if you only reach out in a time of need, so build these relationships before you need them.

These Are The Most Important People In Your Network At Each Stage Of Your Career | Fast Company

Image from fruitnet.

Think of Networking as Joint Progress, Not Using Someone to Get Ahead

Think of Networking as Joint Progress, Not Using Someone to Get Ahead

The idea of networking sometimes feels sleazy, and in can be if you’re doing it wrong. If you think networking is about using someone to get ahead, you’re thinking about it all wrong. It’s about building a community of like-minded friends, so you can make progress together.

Years ago, I took a writing class and our teacher discussed the importance of building relationships. He explained something he noticed from watching students succeed over the years:

When one of them succeeded, everyone in the group succeeded. So it’s not about using someone; it’s about making progress and moving ahead together.

In other words, it’s about helping each other move forward. When you move forward, so do the people around you, and, ideally, vice versa. As our own Alan Henry put it, “a ‘professional network’ is just code for ‘friends who are willing to help each other professionally.’”

If you have a natural aversion to networking, it may help to reframe the way you think about it in these terms. We’ve also written a guide on how to do this, so check it out here.

Photo by Kai Hendry.

Apple faces Caltech lawsuit over WiFi patents

Apple's legal troubles with schools aren't over yet: Caltech has sued Apple and chipmaker Broadcom for allegedly violating four WiFi-related patents. Supposedly, most Apple devices (including the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch) from the iPhone 5…

New York City rolls out its first WiFi-equipped buses

When New York City promised that its WiFi-packing buses would arrive sometime in the second or third quarter of this year, it was clearly being cautious — the first wave of those buses is rolling out today. Visit Queens and you'll see seven interne…

Linksys will let you use open router code under new FCC rules

While the FCC's imminent rules for wireless device interference are supposed to allow hackable WiFi routers, not every router maker sees it that way. TP-Link, for instance, is blocking open source firmware out of fear that you'll run afoul of the re…

Focus On the Quality of Your Relationships While Networking, Not Quantity

Focus On the Quality of Your Relationships While Networking, Not Quantity

To some, “networking” means handing out as many business cards as possible. That can come off pretty sleazy and miss the point. Instead, focus on building quality relationships to grow your career.

As networking expert and author Derek Coburn explains, choosing who to network with and how to spend your time is key. Being willing to support others in tangible ways—as opposed to waiting for them to help you—is an investment that can come back to help you later on. It’s also important to focus your efforts on the people that are mutually beneficial, instead of someone who’s just going to suck you dry:

Your level of success when it comes to networking and relationship-building will be directly tied to your ability to interact with others who have a similar approach. You can show up genuinely looking to contribute, but it will be a waste of time if you are engaging with those who are only focused on themselves.

In this way, networking is a lot like building your regular personal relationships. Fancy that. The quality of your relationships will be determined by which people you choose to focus on and how much effort you put into them. Ideally, as time passes, you’ll build a professional network of real friends who look out for and support each other, not just a rolodex of people who trade favors.

The Most Important Rule of Networking No One Talks About | Inc.

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Find New Facebook Groups to Join with the New Discover Tool

Find New Facebook Groups to Join with the New Discover Tool

Facebook Groups are underrated. You can use them to find people with similar interests, share files with others in your group, or even network professionally. It’s easy to find groups to join now with the Groups Discover section in Facebook.…

You’ll find about 25 different categories of groups to browse through and get suggestions for groups based on friends who have joined and your location. To get to it from your desktop browser, scroll down the left navigation section in Facebook, click the Groups heading, and then the Discover link at the top. If you don’t see it on the web, you can access it from the iOS or Android app under More > Groups > Discover.

Facebook Groups via The Muse

Despite FCC Rules, Linksys Will Keep Its Routers Open and Let You Hack Them

Despite FCC Rules, Linksys Will Keep Its Routers Open and Let You Hack Them

Back in 2015, the FCC introduced new guidelines that looked like a threat to anyone wanting to hack and install open firmwares on their routers. They backed off, but a lot of manufacturers are still locking their devices down, just in case. Linksys, the company just announced, isn’t one of them.

In its defense, the FCC clarified its own rules back in 2015, pointing out their goal was never to stop users from hacking and tweaking their own electronics, but to reduce interference with FAA Doppler radar systems—which, the FCC noted, often comes from household devices that have been reconfigured to operate outside of their normal frequency bands (more specifically, devices with Dynamic Frequency Selection, or DFS, a feature already available in stock firmwares of most consumer routers, disabled.)…

Linksys says that even though blocking custom firmware (the way TP-Link plans to do) would be the easier way to comply with the new rules, it’s possible to include security to stop DFS from being disabled without locking the router down completely, and that’s what they plan to do.…

Ars Technica explains:

Any 5GHz routers sold on or after June 2 must include security measures that prevent these types of changes. But router makers can still allow loading of open source firmware as long as they also deploy controls that prevent devices from operating outside their allowed frequencies, types of modulation, power levels, and so on.

This takes more work than simply locking out third-party firmware entirely, but Linksys, a division of Belkin, made the extra effort. On and after June 2, newly sold Linksys WRT routers will store RF parameter data in a separate memory location in order to secure it from the firmware, the company says. That will allow users to keep loading open source firmware the same way they do now.

Other Linksys routers, such as Max-Stream devices, will block open source firmware. But continuing support on the WRT line is a natural move for Linksys, given that the OpenWrt and DD-WRT third-party firmware was originally built for the company’s WRT54G routers more than a decade ago.

So here’s to good guy Linksys, even though their decision is clearly as much marketing as it is technical. Other manufacturers haven’t come down on one side or the other on the debate just yet (which means they’ll probably lock themselves down), but the developers of OpenWRT, one of our favorite custom firmwares, tell Ars Technica that Linksys is the only one that’s approached them with clear support.…

You can read more, and get the full backstory, at the link below.

Linksys WRT routers won’t block open source firmware, despite FCC rules | Ars Technica

Ask for a Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job

Ask for a Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job

When leaving one job for another—and leaving on good terms—you might not be thinking about needing a reference letter. After all, you already landed the other job. This is, however, the best time to ask your manager for a reference letter.

LiveCareer explains:

It’s a good idea to get a reference letter from your manager as soon after leaving a position as possible. Getting a reference letter right away makes it easier for your manager to recall specific contributions you made to the team. Even if you don’t end up needing a reference right away, having the reference letter provides you with something to fall back on in the event you are unable to contact your former manager at a later time. Plus, if you decide to go back to the manager a year or more later to ask them to provide a phone reference, you can remind them about the reference letter they wrote for you.

In some of our previous job search-related posts, commenters have mentioned trouble tracking down former managers who could vouch for them—a real problem when you’re applying to new jobs. That’s why it’s best to try to keep in touch with former bosses and co-workers. Either way, though, a written letter of recommendation now could help you greatly down the road.

Making Sure You Have Good Employment References | LiveCareer via Lindsey Pollak

Photo via tribbles 1971.

Cope With a Job Loss or Layoff By Volunteering

Cope With a Job Loss or Layoff By Volunteering

Getting fired or laid off can be a frustrating, emotional experience. You’re not sure what to do with your time, and worse, sometimes you start to question your value. Volunteering gives you a productive outlet for coping with the situation.

It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you after a job loss. It helps to take things a day at a time and stay busy. Over at Reader’s Digest, Lori Scherwin, founder of career site Strategize That, suggests volunteering:

Your job situation is your number-one concern right now, and it’s likely all-consuming. “Give yourself an emotional reprieve from any anxiety by spending some time supporting others through their difficult circumstances,” suggests Scherwin. Pick a cause or organization that is meaningful to you and donate some of your time. It will put things in perspective, add value to your resume, and might also help you network and connect with like-minded people.

I did this when I was laid off, and it was indeed useful. For me, the sense of purpose was the most helpful aspect of it. I enjoyed feeling productive again, rather than wondering what I was going to do with my time or my career in general. It was a welcome, productive distraction.

As Scherwin suggests, though, it’s also great for networking and, perhaps more importantly, contributing to your community.For more tips on handling a layoff, head to the full post below.

Laid Off? 8 Ways to Mentally Recover | Reader’s Digest

Photo by Virginia State Parks.