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As a young professional, one of the biggest frustrations you may be experiencing is your inability to get key professionals to take you seriously. A common reason for this is the power players in your industry are often overwhelmed with tons of similar requests from others. This essentially means that there’s perhaps a long line of people ahead of you.
During my early 20s, I experienced some of the same frustrations. But through some crucial trial and error, I’ve learned secrets as to how to surpass that lengthy line. To get to the front of the line you must enhance your professional visibility and credibility.
Here’s how you do it:
- Develop strong interpersonal skills: Reading (or even skimming) books on how to strengthen your interpersonal skills will equip you with various strategies that can help you appeal to key people in a powerful manner.
- Make power connections through your mentors: Speak with your mentors and ask them if they can introduce you to some distinguished professionals that may be of interest. This may take a little time to evolve, but you have to be patient and dedicated to making the connection.
- Lead and host community events: Developing community events pays extremely high dividends. It demonstrates that you’re a leader who’s truly committed to making a difference in the community.
- Become featured in the media: You can do this by sending news releases to various media outlets each time you host an event—at least 2-3 times a year. If you host enough events and write a very catchy release, the media will come.
- Stay persistent and offer to serve: Go to community and business events that key professionals attend so they’ll begin to recognize your face as you mingle with them. You also definitely want to offer to help or volunteer for them in any way you reasonably can. For some, it takes years to strengthen relationships, but it’s well worth the wait. Trust me. Stay persistent.
Taking these actions will help you gain the visibility and credibility you need to be taken seriously. As a result, power players will know you on a first-name basis and you will officially be in their network.
Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.