There are very few times when I will openly praise TSwift for anything other than her ability to write a catchy tune (please be advised: catchy does not equate to quality). Usually you will find me vehemently protesting any talk of her. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but to be honest, my stomach turns at the thought of Time Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek featuring her on their cover. I guess Swifty would say I’m just a hater who is gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
But I have to say, in 2014, Taylor confirmed my belief that one major secret to success is networking your pants off. Here are three networking tips to help your career – and how the cat-loving blondie proved that they work.
1) Network all the time. Don’t just wait until you want a new job or until there is a planned networking event. Simply put, you don’t have to be at a business-type function to be networking. Network when you are getting your nails done, when you’re meeting friends’ friends, when you are in line at airport security. Make a new connection every day. That person may or may not help you land your next gig – or they might become your new best friend – or spouse. Who knows, just get out there and make it a daily part of your routine. Just look at Swifty – that girl lives and breathes networking. Her Instagram feed is a celebration of her ability to befriend, well, anyone. She’s making connections on runs, with her fans, and even while dancing ridiculously at award shows. Clearly a connection a day keeps irrelevance away.
2) Tend to those “power” contacts. Tswift has got this one down. Considering she became besties with every Victoria’s Secret model, it should come as no shock that she was asked to headline the live taping – for a second year in a row. Though I consider this blasphemy, there is no denying the genius and how personal relationships can successfully bleed into professional ties. Even if it sounds a bit shady, it’s true that some contacts are more equal than others. These people “more equal” are the ones who are master connectors themselves and are willing to connect you to other players in your industry. Prioritize them. Stay in regular contact (note: this does not mean pester them incessantly) Help them in any way you can. With your name continually at the forefront of your power contact’s mind, you may be the first one they think of when a new opportunity comes along.
3) Create spaces for networking. Don’t just wait for the opportunities to come your way, organize them yourself! Host a dinner party, sponsor a Happy Hour, engage your friends in a meet up, cold email someone you’ve been dying to glean advice from. Creating spaces that are professional, yet casual are great ways to engage in some fabulous networking. So what does Olivia and Meredith’s mother do (I’m embarrassed that I know the name of her cats)? She holds baking parties, buys homes next to American royalty, hosts Met Gala pre parties and gets her fans pumped for her new album through #1989SecretSessions. Networking genius.
Jena is a believer in kindred spirits, handwritten thank you notes and divine intervention. She desires to encourage and inspire other young women as they navigate through the muddy waters of becoming an adult. By day, you can find her on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. By night, you can find her blogging away at giant in heels or instagramming on her page @giantinheels.
3 Lessons I Learned from Taylor Swift about Networking