Networking skills are essential for becoming a successful employee. We practiced networking skills at No Boundaries – Train for Work, Train for Life last week. We met Mike Walther, the owner of Oak Wealth Advisors and Randi Gillespie, Director of Special Needs Services. Oak Wealth Advisors is a company that helps people with disabilities. They help take care of people with disabilities after their parents have passed away.
First, we all went around and introduced ourselves. I mentioned that I noticed while looking at Mike Walther’s profile that Mike Walther is a C.P.A. and I said that my dad is a C.P.A. as well. I also mentioned another commonality is that Mike Walther went to Vanderbilt University and I told him my family and I looked around the school just to see what it was like, when I went to Nashville with my family during Memorial Day weekend.
During our meeting I learned a few networking tips:
- Find commonalities
- Find opportunities to collaborate
- Visit businesses and meet business owners
- Setup a LinkedIn profile
I asked Mike Walther, “Could you tell me more about what your business does?” Mike Walther then explained more about what is done at Oak Wealth advisors. We talked about collaborating with Oak Wealth Advisors in the future. I got some good networking done at this meeting, because I told Mike Walther that my dad is also a C.P.A. and Mike said that I could set up a connection with him and my dad on Linkedin. When you have a profile on LinkedIn, it allows you to research and connect with people from your industry and various businesses.
At the meeting, JJ Hanley, the Associate Director of Ventures at Search, Inc., explained a lot about what is done at jjslist.com and No Boundaries. Matthew, a participant at No Boundaries said, “I learned ways that we could network with the visitors from Oak Wealth Advisors. I learned that we could communicate online with them and more about what they do. I learned that they were professional. They talked about how they were a disability-aware business. Another thing I learned is they could bring more disability awareness to our program.”
Networking skills are important, because they can help you connect with people and they can help you find a job. Also, another benefit is the more you network, the more friends you will have, and the more business connections you will have.
About the Author
I’m Alex Forsythe. I graduated from Glenbrook North high school in 2011. In that same year, I received the J.F.K. award for courage. I attended the R.E.A.C.H. program at The University of Iowa from 2011- 2012. When I’m not working at A.M.C. theaters, I’m working on social communication skills in the workplace at No Boundaries. A skill that we have been working on at No Boundaries is networking.