On Friday, March 11th, I was invited back to York University by the CSSA to attend their Networking Gala.
It’s still pretty surreal to me that others would seek my advice on their journeys to success but I’m humbled nonetheless.
Now, I know I say that often, but I truly am. I haven’t quite figured things out completely myself, but to be given the opportunity to share what I do know, and the knowledge I have acquired with other students is a beautiful thing. I was also one of the youngest “professionals” there 😉
1 Put yourself out there!
Use your online presence to work for you! Make sure it’s a true representation of who you are and the work that you can achieve- no matter the field. I also think presentation has a lot to do with it as well. Be creative with the way you post your work and ensure images are clear. Also, if finances and time allow, creating an online domain is also a great tool to have in place when sharing your capabilities.
Attending networking events are essential to putting yourself out there. Don’t be shy in letting your light shine, no one can offer what you can offer and how you can offer it. I’m quite keen on collecting business cards after an interesting encounter then emailing them at my earliest convenience. What this does is, it shows the professional that you are eager but in a good way. Also, it helps you to stand out amongst all the other individuals they may’ve met. The earlier you make the connection the better.
3 Ask of about interning opportunities
It never hurts! This could be the one step you need to get your foot in the door of your dream career. Also, as a student it’s key to get these opportunities in early as it might expose you to sides of the career choice that you were once unaware of. This could potentially shift the way you feel about it. Learning as much as you can, as early as you can will always be beneficial to you.
4 Hone your craft
Whatever it is… be good at it! Spend time perfecting your craft. This will also help you stand out in a crowd as your individuality shines through your work. As eluded to earlier, no one can do you, like you do you! Plus, learning as much as you can about your craft increases your appeal to potential employers or even investors if you’re looking to be self employed.
5 Follow your passion
I’ve had to learn the hard way to follow what works for you! I experienced a great deal of friction from my parents when I first expressed what I wished to do with my life. As respectfully as you can, be sure to follow the beating that you have in your heart. Usually what comes naturally to you is something you wont get tired of doing. If you love doing it, you’ll never work a day in your life.
6 Look the part!
As we know, I’m into clothes, just a little bit.. 🙂 I’m very much into the way you physically represent yourself. Keeping in mind the field or area of interest- LOOK THE PART. Keep it classy when need be or express your style if need be. It’s all dependant on the position your looking to obtain. Doing some research into the field can give a better understanding of what is expected. (Quick Tip: When in doubt- black it out! I live by that 😉 )
These are just some tips that I shared on what has worked for me. They seem super simplistic but many people overlook them or don’t apply them on a consistent bases. I was so amazed at how many individuals remembered me from the last event and it actually has acted as inspiration in more ways than one. Also, being in that space with so many other professionals from many other fields was awesome. Thank you once again to the CSSA at York University and I pray that my words have left an impactful imprint.
Jacket: Urban Outfitters (like 6 years old), Button down:Asos, Dress:Asos, Heels:Zara, Clutch:Zara
Fun fact: The “scarf” I have tied around the shirt is actually an old pair of pantyhose that had a pulled strand in them…
Might I add I was DETERMINED not to purchase anything for this event, with a little closet dress up I arrived at this..not too bad right? WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE! 🙂