For many teenagers, talking to adults can feel incredibly awkward. However, it also happens to be one of the essential steps to getting a job. Networking and meeting new people could very well be the key to your professional success, so it's important to start practicing from a young age. If you have trouble putting yourself out there to adults, here are a few rules of thumb.
1. Just Do It!
Although we often forget it, most adults are excited to hear the Gen-Z perspective and eager to share their expertise. If you want to gain a new professional contact, there's no harm in sending them an email. More often than you may think, adults will be impressed with your initiative and be more than happy to meet with you.
2. Be Politely Persistent
If you're trying to reach out, make sure to be persistent. Working professionals send hundreds of emails every day, and yours may accidentally get lost in the shuffle. While you should always be polite and never spam their inbox, sending a follow-up email if you don't hear back is entirely appropriate.
3. Present Yourself Professionally
Once you arrange a meeting, be sure to present yourself professionally. Many adults have not fully embraced the millennial, wear-jeans-to-work attitude and still appreciate formality in the workplace. Be sure to look and act professionally whenever you are talking to a new contact.
4. Do Your Research
When talking to a new professional contact, be sure to have some general knowledge about their role or company. You may even want to prepare questions for your interviewer to get the most out of their wealth of knowledge.
5. Follow Up
The key to networking is maintaining your professional relationships. The most important email you will send to a contact is one directly following your meeting. Be sure to thank them for their time and advice. You may also want to add them on LinkedIn or Tallo to stay connected to them and update them on your professional journey.
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