It's All About Connections…
Hey guys, sorry that I haven’t been writing much lately I have been very busy. An important topic that I have wanted to write about is making connections and networking. We have all been told how important it is to stay connected with peers and respected members of the sports industry but sometimes getting connected is the hardest part.
I found that everyone says to stay aggressive and hungry, but when does that become boarder-line stalker and desperate? I agree 100% that connections make everything easier and networking is an amazing tool, how exactly does one really do it? I have been to several job fairs and networking events in sports and based off my experiences nothing came from it. I believe the age of established professionals wanting to connect and mentor the younger generation is almost gone.
While I think that the sports industry paid networking events are a waste of time, I believe that networking can still be done organically. I believe that you pick up people along the way that you connect with through your experiences.
For example, some my Riptern buddies (Aberdeen IronBird interns summer 2010) have became great friends of mine. I have made great relationships and friendships with people at the New York Islanders. As of more recently, the friends and connections that I have made at the New York Yankees will help me greatly in the future.
I believe the trick to networking is just to go for it. As my dad always says, the worse thing they could say is no and you are right back in the same spot you were in. Chances are that the person that blows you off won’t remember you and with that there is virtually no risk. I believe that you just have to get over the fear of rejection.
I also believe that you have to be willing to help others in similar situations to yours. A quick story, a friend of mine found out my experiences and that I interned and have a good relationship with the New York Islanders. She told me that her friend is trying to break into the sports industry and was looking at interning there. I made a few calls and he was set to interview, until he got a better internship. She asked me why I was so willing to help and my answer, “if it was me I would hope someone would help me out”. That’s really my philosophy on the topic.
Overall networking is a really great tool and you meet some pretty great people along the way. Staying connected is great. Now shameless plugs… follow me on twitter at @a_martinian or add me on LinkedIn at Abe Martinian… Isn’t it time we got connected?