It’s Never Too Early To Grow Your Network

In my last post, I wrote about the importance of joining professional organizations. Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the 15th annual Online News Association conference. While the programming was great, it was a golden opportunity to continue to grow my journalism network.

Malik Edwards

Malik Edwards

One of the young people I met was Malik Edwards of Morgan State University. He was one of four students who were funded by the Knight Foundation as HBCU Fellows to attend the conference. Not only did he do good work for our student newsroom (yes, that’s me in his video), but he was a networking fiend. An example – he saw me at ONA’s Sponsors Reception. Edwards came over and started introducing himself to folks, including a board member who had a job lead for him when he graduates in December.

So after joining professional organizations, start to grow your network. Take cards at events and put notes on the back about the conversations you had. Follow up with an email — or an actual hand-written note card – if you want to impress. And keep up the conversation without being stalkerish. Finally, check out the great advice offered in this Quill article.

Do you have questions on how to navigate your career? Please post them below, or email me directly at AuntBenet AT Gmail DOT com.

How NOT to quit your job

By now, we’ve all seen the video of KTVA-TV reporter Charlo Greene quitting her job in quite a spectacular fashion. I can’t judge what she did, but I can offer some thoughts on why you might not want to follow suit when you leave your job.

Although Greene said she is leaving journalism to run a new advocacy group, life is strange and you never know where you’ll end up, so you should NEVER burn a bridge, no matter how tempting it is. She decided to go nuclear. How many news directors do you think would consider hiring her if she chose to get back into the news game after this stunt? You have to not only think of the people in immediate circles, but their networks too. I’m not in broadcast, but I have some really great folks in my network who are.

Finally, you never know when you might go back to a same job (I’ve done that three times in my career) or an old boss pops up at a new job. People remember how you start and how you finish, so remember that when you’ve decided it’s time to go.

Please feel free to email me your career questions at AuntBenet AT Gmail DOT com.

Welcome to AuntBenet.com!

Welcome to my new website. This labor of love came about during a discussion about folks who buy multiple domain names (I have six at last count). In the discussion, I got the bright idea to buy AuntBenet.com. At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to use it for, but then got a great idea.

I’m always posting career tips and advice that targets student and young journalists, but a lot of that stuff is relevant no matter how long you’ve been in the business.  So this website will serve as my new home for career tips and advice. So let me know what you think, and feel free to send your questions and comments to auntbenet AT Gmail DOT com. I look forward to the conversation!