Keeping Up With the Connections
- BY: SARAH SWIFT
- Mar. 22, 2017
By now, we all know how important it is to create a network of professional connections when starting out. However, nurturing and maintaining a solid professional network is the real goldmine when it comes to carving out new opportunities within the fashion industry. Ahead, we look at some easy ways you can maintain the connections you’ve worked hard to create, even after you’ve left the building...
(Social) NetworkWade through the endless stream of cat gifs and “haha, so me…” memes, and the right social networks can prove invaluable in maintaining industry connections. LinkedIn is the best way to connect with peers and supervisors you’ve worked with, and is also the fastest way to show off your skills and align with like-minded professionals. Keeping yourself in the loop when others change roles can present opportunities for yourself - you just never know when your boss from your first internship is on the hunt for a new assistant! Reaching out to professionals you’d like to work with can also be beneficial, but just remember the golden rule of social media - keep it constructive, not creepy. If you don’t get response, don’t sweat it - just keep an eye out for opportunities in the future.
Reach Out… In Real LifeTime-consuming and nerve-inducing? Potentially. Rewarding when done right? Absolutely. Asking a former colleague or mentor to catch up over a coffee is an authentic way to nurture a genuine connection, even if you finished that work placement six months ago. A simple email is all it takes to get the ball rolling on this one - thank them for mentoring you, ask how their work is going and see if they’d be free to meet in person. This technique will help you stand out from a seemingly endless parade of interns, and also gives you a chance to have an earnest, focused conversation with a professional you admire.
Keep the Calendar FullAttend or volunteer at enough industry events, and you’ll start to see the same faces at every one. The fashion industry is a cosy one, so use this to your advantage. Seek out former colleagues or mentors at these events and strike up a conversation, or perform a stellar job and get yourself noticed for all the right reasons. Over time, you’ll find it easier to engage with people you kinda-sorta know, and before you even realise, you’ll have an organic network of people you can reach out to for future opportunities.