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S1E12: The importance of networking for new opportunities with Sandy Jones-Kaminski

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In today's episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast I speak with Sandy Jones-Kaminski.

Sandy is the founder and chief connecting officer at Bella Domain Media. She is also the author of, I'm at a Networking Event, Now What? Sandy specializes in networking online and offline, and helps people use LinkedIn to find the right connections.

In our conversation, Sandy details the best ways to communicate with new connections. She tells people to adopt a “pay it forward” philosophy of networking. This means asking others what they need first, rather than always worrying about what you need. Sandy also suggests following up with connections and learning how to share your knowledge.

Sandy's insight into LinkedIn can help you generate leads and get found by the right people. She shares her tips on improving outreach and getting more comfortable at networking events. She also provides practical suggestions on what not to do when creating your LinkedIn profile. Ultimately, Sandy shows us how to maximize our networking presence in person and online.

Key takeaways:

  • Go into environments where you stand out from the crowd. Attend events where your skills are unique to the group.
  • Get to know people and find a way to help them. Stop worrying about your elevator pitch and focus on real conversation.
  • Ask the perfect networking question: “What are you working on these days?” This creates a social context for the conversation instead of an awkward one where you are asking for something.
  • If you're not developing a network of connections in your life, you're going to have a hard time getting things done. Use LinkedIn as a tool to solidify your connections with the people you meet.
  • Everyone has something to offer. You have ideas, knowledge, and good thoughts. Act on those resources and share them with the right people.
  • Use LinkedIn as a way to find those 2nd and 3rd-degree connections. Employee referral programs can get you in doors that would otherwise be closed to you.
  • Personalize your LinkedIn invitations. If there's no context, people are going to dismiss your attempt to connect.
  • Find an association or a meetup or a group that's connected to the technical world you want to be in. This is a great way to get your foot in the door. When it's time to start interviewing, people will be happy to help you.

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