When you don’t have a map to a definite career, you can search for a mentor who can provide a positive example to you. How does this example look? According to Linda Dulye, a mentor is someone who can display a passion for helping others improve within their job, expand their skills or transition into a new opportunity.
How would you go about finding such a role model? Networking face-to-face and building the human connections we need, will help you get there. Even today, with LinkedIn enabling us to quickly connect with professionals in any given industry, social media is not enough.
Linda claims, “What’s changed today is the speed and the ease that you can network. I can go on LinkedIn and say, “I’m interested in X,Y,Z company, let me see if there are any S.U. Alumni that went to X,Y,Z company with whom I can connect. Prior to the internet, when I looked for a job, I knew someone who knew someone, I couldn’t instantly connect.”
She adds, “You need to have a conversation, a human personal touch and reach out in order to make that network grow. If you plan to grow by casual email, that will not do it. A phone call, to let someone hear your voice so you can strike up a relationship. That’s an old school de-facto that has not changed in networking. It still comes down to forming a relationship, and the best way to form it is through your voice or presence.
“The rules have changed in term of getting my access. How do I maximize that access? That has not changed.”
Connecting people with others to help make their dreams come true excites Linda. The Dulye Leadership Experience, a skills-centric, professional development program for creating globally competitive, career-ready students, helps Syracuse University students build a network and engage in hands-on direct learning. This experience helps students stand out from the pack and grab the attention of hiring managers. Further, students will learn how to excel in communications and quickly integrate in the workplace (dulye.com 2014).
If you are currently a junior or senior at S.U. thinking about applying to the DLE, I encourage it, especially if you love to communicate. However, if you have been out of college for a while and actively looking to improve your job hunting skills, I challenge you to do some introspection. Ask yourself, “Do I catch myself repeating the following sayings: 1) A higher paying position is more important than having a mentor, 2) My mentor has to be in the field I am interested in pursuing, 3) My major says everything about me, 4) Anything I did in High School doesn’t matter, 5) To be a leader, I have to come up with solutions all by myself, or 6) I don’t have the personality to be a leader?”
Did you any of these questions above resonate on any level? If so, I suggest you continue to read more in my full-length conversation with Linda in the following article, “Linda Dulye, Leadership Expert and Entrepreneur Talks Mentorship and Career Development.” Read about how to debunk these myths and actively seek out the opportunities that might be awaiting you.
Linda Dulye is a ’77 Syracuse University Alumna, President and Founder of Dulye & Co., an award-winning workplace communication consultancy that specializes in the groundbreaking Spectator-Free Workplace ™ methodology, and the Dulye Leadership Experience at S.U.