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Networking. Just the word itself is enough to make introverts everywhere cringe. However, introvert or otherwise, all CPA candidates need to learn this skill. Most, if not all, high level CPAs will advise that networking is essential to career advancement. Today's blog will serve as a guide to network building.
Discover Your Contacts
Identifying is the first step in building your network. Do this by composing a list of potential connections. If you are having trouble getting this list started, begin with your most inner circle-your family and closest friends. Even if you are the only CPA in the family or your group of friends, chances are that someone in that circle will know someone else who can help you. Next, branch out to acquaintances and other associates like your college professors, or anyone you may know through involvement in a community or religious organization.
Create Your Connections
The next step is take your list of potential contacts and begin establishing connections. It's a good idea to invest in a set of business cards at this point, as well. Business cards scream professionalism, and can boost your confidence level, as well as serve as a reminder of who you are to potential connections.
Stay in Touch
It does no good to create connections if you do not follow up on them. Any time the opportunity arises to re-connect with a contact, take it, be it an organizational gathering, or just chance encounter while you're out in public. Likewise, any time you find yourself with a reason to contact one of your new connections, don't hesitate to do it. The more you connect, the more likely it is that you will be remembered when new opportunity develops.
Pay It Forward
As a young or future CPA, you've worked really, really hard to get to where you are at, and, hopefully, you are very grateful to those who have helped you along the way. Give back to those who have helped you by becoming a resource to others who are working to become a CPA. Share any information or news you may receive, be it a newsletter or an article in a business journal, with those in your circle of industry contacts.
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