Created: March 2017
Last Updated: April 2020
This learning experience is part of a playlist — two or more learning experiences focused on specific areas of the digital world. You can find this playlist, Crafting a Successful Resume, here. This particular learning experience is the sixth in a sequence of six. Learning experiences in a playlist build off of each other, but they were designed so that they can also be completed on their own!
|Group or individual activity:||Individual|
|Ages:||16-18 years old|
|Online / offline elements:||This learning experience contains an offline activity and challenge that requires the use of a computer or mobile device with Internet access.|
Main area: Digital Economy
Additional areas: Digital (Literacy), Identity Exploration and Formation
|License:||This learning experience has been created by Youth and Media and is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit http://dcrp.berkman.harvard.edu/about|
Understand the importance of networking, cultivating social relationships, and forming connections.
Computer or mobile device with Internet access
[Optional] Pen or pencil
Video: Networking for the Networking Averse – Lisa Green Chau - by TED-Ed
Video: Professional Networking: How to Add Value to Your Connections - by Colorado Technical University
Article: Paid Job vs. Unpaid Internship: Make the Best Choice for You - by Suzanna de Baca (HuffPost)
You may have heard of the famous idiom, "It isn't WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know." While this idea isn't completely foolproof (what you know is also incredibly important!), it is a helpful way of understanding how people you meet can connect you to future opportunities. In this exercise, we will explore the importance of making contacts, as well as how to be an active networker.
After you complete this learning experience, if you continue to discuss potential jobs with the people you connect with and decide to pursue one of these jobs, you should make sure that you will be benefiting fairly. Before accepting an offer, it’s a good idea to think about how much you will enjoy (or not enjoy) the potential future work opportunities that the job presents, and ask whether the job is paid or unpaid (and if paid, how much). You may want to compare several different opportunities and choose whichever is best for you.
In this exercise, you will start connecting with four others who might be able to help you find a job. As a starting point, think about people you know who might be open to hiring someone new. These individuals need not have posted a job opening — there may still be an opportunity to find paid work through them. Also, think about someone you don’t already know (such as a manager at a local company) who might have leads for jobs.
Reach out to all four of these individuals via email. In each email, be sure to mention your interest in finding a job and ask if they have any advice for you. Also, ask if they might be willing to support your career development in other ways (e.g., mentorship, volunteering opportunities, or collaborating on a project). If you find more than four people, that’s great!
Finally, in a write-up, describe what you asked each person, how you either knew the person or decided to reach out to them (if you hadn’t met them before), and the response they gave you. Good luck!
Excellent job finishing this challenge! We are sure that others would love to see what you learned! If possible, please share your write-up with an educator, mentor, or advisor, or a family member or friend. You are also welcome to share your write-up with the Youth and Media team through email (email@example.com). Please specify the title of the learning experience in the subject line of the email.