Connecting with others is an important part of your career preparation. Through these connections, you can learn more about different careers, understand what’s expected in different industries, or hear about upcoming opportunities.

How do you find people? Make a list of everyone you know and identify how they could help you gather career information or experience. Who do you know at school? Professors, friends, and even friends’ parents can all be helpful contacts. Did you hold a part-time job? Volunteer? Have an internship? Think about the people you came into contact with there.

Remember to be courteous and tactful in all your conversations. Whether your conversation is in person, on the phone, or via e-mail, follow up with a thank-you note to show your appreciation and improve your chances of creating a productive relationship.Finally, making connections is not just about the benefit to you! Find ways to share information with the people you meet, and help others as well.

How do you share your story?