How do you network if you have no friends in IT?

mxmaniacmxmaniac Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm seeking an entry level job with my A+, Net+, and personal experience, but not having much luck. I really feel like I need to network, but the problem is, I don't know anyone in IT, in fact, I hardly have any friends at all.

Maybe its partly my location, I'm near a big city, but almost everybody I ever run across is primarly into drinking, drugs, screaming their heads off watching sports, going to loud bars, parties, and restaurants, celebrity gossip, etc. I'm not into any of that. I like more productive and intellectual hobbies, like building things, casual athletic activities (sober), social board games/video games, and tech stuff, all of which, nobody around here seems interested in.

Any advice how I can better fall into the right crowd of people, and better network with people in this industry?

Comments

  • Vask3nVask3n Member Posts: 517
    Check your city for meetups and/or other interest-based gatherings, clubs, or events. I think there is even a website like meetup.com that is pretty much for this purpose.

    If you want to network career-wise, spend some time building a Linkedin profile if you don't have one, and check out some of the group discussions.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    meetup.com is great for this. Also linkedin groups. find some groups and join then and interact with people.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Sometimes it takes getting into the role you want before you can really kick start your network and build from that. Although, there will be lots in IT that are into those types of stuff you aren't big on, but if you have a common ground in IT, discussion can revolve around that. LinkedIn is a great networking tool, and one that you can use to join IT based groups in your area. Many will have some sort of meetups either monthly, or every other month. It's a good way to meet others in your industry and to find those who will take you under their wing and help you out grow in your career.
  • AwesomeGarrettAwesomeGarrett Member Posts: 257
    The old school way by knocking on every door. This is the 21st century, so you submit your resume to every job that you have a shot at getting.

    The truth is, you're not really going to find those type of people around or even at work. Reason being is the we (myself included) are not going to be advertising what goes on in our spare time. The looks I get from people when they ask if I follow a sport and I tell them I haven't had TV service for the better part of a decade are bad enough. I can only imagine if I told them about my rack, books, workbooks, and all the other things that are not considered the "norm".
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    REMOVED UNNECESSARY QUOTED REPLY FROM PREVIOUS POST
    tell us more :popcorn:
  • Vask3nVask3n Member Posts: 517
    The old school way by knocking on every door. This is the 21st century, so you submit your resume to every job that you have a shot at getting.

    The truth is, you're not really going to find those type of people around or even at work. Reason being is the we (myself included) are not going to be advertising what goes on in our spare time. The looks I get from people when they ask if I follow a sport and I tell them I haven't had TV service for the better part of a decade are bad enough. I can only imagine if I told them about my rack, books, workbooks, and all the other things that are not considered the "norm".

    Wow, the bit about the TV and not following sports really struck home for me. I don't think I have had a television for about that long too.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    No television for a long, long while...



    Friends are not usually found in the same industry. That my friend, is competition ;)

    You make 'friends' or better acquaintances by similar interest groups and such and then a lead opens up, because of that mutual interest (fishing, bowling, cards, comics, similar local store (small town), church, bars, etc...

    A group such as BNI or other professional group could be something to consider as well.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    LinkedIn, forums, etc :)
  • NersesianNersesian Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You know how you can tell someone doesn't have a TV?

    Oh they'll tell you...
  • PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    You should probably learn to like (or tolerate) drinking, parties, restaurants etc. Its undeniably ingrained in business culture.

    I went to Dreamforce last week. It was more or less half business half parties. My best relationships were developed after hours.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Polynomial wrote: »
    You should probably learn to like (or tolerate) drinking, parties, restaurants etc. Its undeniably ingrained in business culture.

    I went to Dreamforce last week. It was more or less half business half parties. My best relationships were developed after hours.

    I disagree, I don't drink and rarely do anything after hours and it hasn't effected me at all. I do ballgames, golfing, lunches, and my network groups ISC2, ISACA, ect. Also, I run a blog and a LinkedIn Group.
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Member Posts: 665
    Where ya from, mxmaniac?
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    philz1982 wrote: »
    I disagree, I don't drink and rarely do anything after hours and it hasn't effected me at all. I do ballgames, golfing, lunches, and my network groups ISC2, ISACA, ect. Also, I run a blog and a LinkedIn Group.

    Now just image where you would be if you drank the entire time ;)
  • NersesianNersesian Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    Now just image where you would be if you drank the entire time ;)

    I've been drinking his share for years. No need to bring it to his attention at this point.
  • snunez889snunez889 Member Posts: 238 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sometimes drinking with the right people can land you the right connections. I had a friend once that partied and ended up doing some stuff(wont say what) with someone at a party and that landed him a crazy paying job.

    Don't get me wrong, skill will always be important.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Meetup.com is great for meeting people with similar tech interests. Also check out microsoft/vmware etc user groups.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • mxmaniacmxmaniac Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies.

    That meetup.com seems like a great resource that I was unaware of. I will definetly check it out.

    As far as Linkedin, is that actually a good resource? I've heard both good and bad about it. I started making a profile once, but didn't really like the setup, and it seemed overly intrusive. Maybe I need to revisit it though, and give it some more time?

    As far as drinking, going to bars, parties, I honestly cannot fake it. I've tried, and walked out many times. Puts me in such a bad mood it would be detrimental towards any networking. Now having a fun social athletic gathering playing some volleyball, or at a climbing wall, I can get into that, but very few people I've ever met are interested in that, especially if sober.

    My location is near the seattle area.
  • Armymanis1Armymanis1 Banned Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Learn to drink. I never used to drink and love drinking. Everyone who i used to work with at my old IT job did it and i went out with them a couple of times. Sometimes I got too drunk but they didn't tell the supervisor or anything because they were just co workers.
  • ElementaryOSElementaryOS Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Vask3n wrote: »
    If you want to network career-wise, spend some time building a Linkedin profile if you don't have one, and check out some of the group discussions.

    I hate Linked-In. It's so damn privacy invasive. I've begun multiple times to create an account there and I get put off and then cancel.
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    As far as Linkedin, is that actually a good resource? I've heard both good and bad about it. I started making a profile once, but didn't really like the setup, and it seemed overly intrusive.

    Exactly!
  • The_PariahThe_Pariah Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    YMMV depending upon your area, but I have found local IT Meetup groups where I have met other IT professionals that I can bounce off ideas and learn about what did and didn't work for them. Meetup is very helpful. Linkedin can be useful if you meet other people who are influential. I have never explicitly got a job from Linkedin, but I have leveraged knowledge a gleaned about people to name drop people that I've worked with that the hiring manager knows and presumably has some level of respect for. Not all of your professional references are created equal. Those that they know personally may be more valuable and relevant to the position and having a Linkedin profile in some cases can get you information that you wouldn't otherwise have.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    Armymanis1 wrote: »
    Sometimes I got too drunk but they didn't tell the supervisor or anything because they were just co workers.
    Why would your boss care how much you drank?
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    As far as Linkedin, is that actually a good resource?
    Unequivocally, yes. I know several recruiters who exclusively recruit from LinkedIn. I've been contacted countless times based on my profile alone. It really is a great resource. even if the website is a little 'meh'.
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    it seemed overly intrusive.
    Do you put your resume on job boards with your phone number and email address? How is this any different?
    If you are concerned about your privacy, just scrub your personal contact info and move on. You can either create a dummy email account or only accept messages on LinkedIn.

    Also, for what it's worth, my entire professional network is comprised of previous coworkers, classmates, TE members and a few friends who coincidentally work in the same industry. The amount of friends you currently have is immaterial to your potential networking opportunities.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • mxmaniacmxmaniac Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Do you put your resume on job boards with your phone number and email address? How is this any different?
    Well actually, I don't post my phone number, address, or e-mail address on public job boards, or other plainly visible places. Only people who get that information are people who I directly send my resume to.

    I know LinkedIn has been notorious for privacy violations. As well as sending unsolicited messages in your name. I get nonstop constant spam invites from people who are not trying to invite me, but rather had one conversation in the past and then linkedin is spamming their address book. Or people who have made a small change to their profile, and linkedin spams that change to all their contacts. Like the lady who made a small change to her job status, and then LinkedIn went advertising to everyone she's looking for work, even her current boss who she hadn't told.

    For me, I barely started even creating a profile, and it just wants so much information I don't want to blatantly share. It seems to want me to conform to their format, and if I don't want to share something it will want to put that field in anyways, and I have to type "private" or something like that. Again, I'm totally new to LinkedIn, maybe theres layout options I don't know about, but it just doesn't seem professional to have all these fields showing, yet labeled private. As if I'm trying to hide something, but really I just don't want things publically shared, or linkedin using the information to autospam without my control.

    Anyone have input on this? I mean, if LinkedIn is going to legitimately be a valuble resource, I'd want to use it, but I simply don't trust it, or know if its worth it.
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    Well actually, I don't post my phone number, address, or e-mail address on public job boards, or other plainly visible places. Only people who get that information are people who I directly send my resume to.

    I know LinkedIn has been notorious for privacy violations. As well as sending unsolicited messages in your name. I get nonstop constant spam invites from people who are not trying to invite me, but rather had one conversation in the past and then linkedin is spamming their address book. Or people who have made a small change to their profile, and linkedin spams that change to all their contacts. Like the lady who made a small change to her job status, and then LinkedIn went advertising to everyone she's looking for work, even her current boss who she hadn't told.

    For me, I barely started even creating a profile, and it just wants so much information I don't want to blatantly share. It seems to want me to conform to their format, and if I don't want to share something it will want to put that field in anyways, and I have to type "private" or something like that. Again, I'm totally new to LinkedIn, maybe theres layout options I don't know about, but it just doesn't seem professional to have all these fields showing, yet labeled private. As if I'm trying to hide something, but really I just don't want things publically shared, or linkedin using the information to autospam without my control.

    Anyone have input on this? I mean, if LinkedIn is going to legitimately be a valuble resource, I'd want to use it, but I simply don't trust it, or know if its worth it.

    for me, Linkedin is most definitely worth it. Great place to network and i get approached with great opportunities on a regular basis.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    Well actually, I don't post my phone number, address, or e-mail address on public job boards, or other plainly visible places.
    So how do they contact you?
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    I know LinkedIn has been notorious for privacy violations.
    The most egregious privacy violation I have seen is that after you add a contact, they suggest other "users" you may know. The sketchy part is they mix actual users with user objects generated from your address book of whom are not on LinkedIn yet. So you look at it and think, "Oh hey, my buddy finally got an account" and send him and invite but what you really just did is spam him an email to join the site. Pretty slimy

    I am pretty sure there were lawsuits against them so I think they've shaped up a bit in that regard. Plus there are somewhat granular permissions controls that you can manipulate.
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    Anyone have input on this? I mean, if LinkedIn is going to legitimately be a valuble resource, I'd want to use it, but I simply don't trust it, or know if its worth it.

    I see no problem with omitting areas of your profile. Maybe write up something a little more professional than "private". It's definitely worth, at the very least, trying it. The general consensus of TE, as I have interpreted, is in favor of LinkedIn, as most of us have benefited in some fashion from using it. Call it a necessary evil, weigh the pros and cons of the loss of privacy with that of increased career prospects.

    Good on you for being conscious of your online presence though. We should all be so apprehensive.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • mxmaniacmxmaniac Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, honestly I've never posted a resume on a public job board. I could be wrong, but i've always heard its just not a good thing to do because there is about a .05% chance of success, and a 99.95% chance it will get lost in a flood of millions, for only the spambots to find and spam you, not to mention possibly hurting your search by appearing desperate with the resume randomly plastered on every venue.

    If anyone has had success from a public job board, I'd be interested in hearing about it. I do have my email and phone number on resumes that I actually send directly.

    Thanks for the input on LinkedIn. "A necessary evil", seems like a good way to put it. I've started to work on my profile now. I'm really trying to figure out a more professional term than "private" on my employers. Really having a brain fart. I could put "ask", or "not shown publically". Anyone have ideas for that aspect?
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,306 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mxmaniac wrote: »
    Well, honestly I've never posted a resume on a public job board. I could be wrong, but i've always heard its just not a good thing to do because there is about a .05% chance of success, and a 99.95% chance it will get lost in a flood of millions, for only the spambots to find and spam you, not to mention possibly hurting your search by appearing desperate with the resume randomly plastered on every venue.
    When I posted to a job board I used a new email that forwarded to my regular address and a google voice phone number that forwarded or went straight to voice mail. You don't have to post your regular info on there if you are worried about spam.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    LinkedIn is a good resource, I regularly get contacted by company's looking to discuss potential moves. Just make sure your profile has all the relevant keywords for the kind of job you're looking for.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here are some things that I've done and highly recommend. Most of the suggestions have been posted here before, so I apologize for the redundancy:

    1. Get your face out there. I received a job offer, in part, because I stopped by the business, introduced myself, and left a resume. That personal approach ensured that the resume made it to the HR desk with a note telling them to pull the online application, put it at the top of the list, and get me in for a formal interview. Did this on a Wednesday and had the job by Saturday.

    2. Volunteer your time fixing computers for various charities. Churches, community centers, rest homes, animal shelters, etc have limited IT budgets. They are usually quite stoked to have help and will normally trade help for letters of recommendation and for job referrals.

    3. LinkedIn is your friend. Put your resume on LinkedIn and put your LinkedIn profile url on your resume. If they can't find you, they can't hire you. Not to mention, a lot of HR-types will review the profile prior to and during the phone interview. You do yourself a disservice by not having one, frankly.

    4. Blog about it! Seriously! You might be new to IT but that doesn't mean you don't have what an employer is looking for. The problem is, how do you articulate that you have what they want? Honestly, if you are able to communicate effectively on your blog about what you've learned, this provides your future employer with a frame-of-reference that is normally missing when searching for a candidate. Keep in mind, I've had several interviews, formal and informal, where the hiring manager stated that he wanted someone who is able to learn as he can teach the needed skills. What is more difficult to teach is the ability to effectively communicate, as well as many other so-called soft skills. A blog, plus the interview, can provide the interviewer with a better understanding of your soft-skills than a cold resume can.

    5. Join as many industry groups as you can, on LinkedIn, meetup.com, and through the organization's websites. This shows interest and motivation. Be on the lookout for meetings with the local chapters, too. You might be amazed at how one short conversation, small-talk really, can lead to an interview and a job.

    6. Lastly, do your research, find the companies you want to work for, and then figure out the best strategy for getting in front of the decision makers. Call the hiring manager, schedule an appointment (coffee meeting), and ask them what they are looking for in an employee. You'd be amazed how many people would be willing to do this with you, especially since so few people do it. Anything that helps you stand out, in a positive way, is good for your career. You might find that they are not hiring but know someone who is looking for someone like you to hire.

    Cheers and good luck!
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
Sign In or Register to comment.