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Connecting People and Staying Connected

By What’s For Work?


In all aspects of life, building good relationships with other people is one of the most valuable things you can do. Being known to others can open doors of opportunity, so long as they know you’re there and capable of helping.

Just think, within your current network of people today, you probably have a good idea of who’s who and what their interests are, for the most part. And if someone were to approach you for help or advice on a topic you’re not familiar with, chances are you might be able to connect them with someone else. Hence, the power of relationships and being able to connect others, while being known as someone that can help.

Specific to business and your career, it’s always a good idea to be a person that connects other people. When others come to you for help, it’s a compliment, because you are perceived as someone that is resourceful. In turn, this means you have others that you can turn to for help as well when you’re looking for something, such as a chance to meet someone you don’t know, etc.

Connecting people and staying connected is an ongoing process that never ends. Here are a few tips that can help you along the way.

Tips for Connecting and Staying Connected

  1. Each day or week, find 1-2 people you know and introduce them to each other.
  2. Next time you attend a networking event, invite a friend or two.
  3. Ask people you know, “is there something that I can help YOU with?”.
  4. When you come across someone or something that can help others you know, share it with them immediately.
  5. Every so often, check in with people in your network and ask how they are doing, or invite them to lunch to catch up.

Remember, the more people you know and the more people you help… the better!

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women.

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

Networking Know-How – Questions to Ask Yourself

By Huda Baak

Networking Event

“Sit up straight.  Don’t talk with your mouth full.  Make sure you’re wearing clean underwear”.  If these statements sound familiar, it’s because they were drilled into our heads from a very young age. Perhaps Mom was onto something! Nothing shows instant confidence like proper posture, no one wants to eat across the table from someone spewing food while they talk, and as for the third one, well… let’s say you just never want to be caught unprepared!

I’m not sure what Mom would have to say about networking in this day and age,  but I can tell you that things aren’t like they used to be. If you’re re-entering the professional world after a few years away, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that things are not quite the same as they were when you left.  Everything is faster, social media now rules, and people don’t have the time or the patience for hand-holding.

I remember when I first re-started my business after taking off some time when my daughter was born, that I “wasn’t in Kansas anymore”, (not that I had ever been to Kansas, but you know what I mean!)  Things had changed so much.  I had spent 15 years teaching people how to network, how to dress for networking events, what to eat, what to say and how, etc.  I was shocked at how much things had changed that many people have chosen to work behind the screen now.  On their LinkedIn, their FaceBook, Tweeting this and that, but not really connecting with anyone, not in person.

Yes, this is the age of social media, but don’t let go of time tested face-to-face networking.  People aren’t hiring your skills and expertise alone, they’re hiring the whole person.  A three-dimensional, living, breathing person.  So how do you show up to network?  Do you scramble to put together an outfit at the last minute, or do you carefully select one based on the job/sale you’re hoping to get?

Questions to ask yourself before you head out to your next networking event

  • Is your hair cut & color flattering for your face?  
  • Are your eyeglasses flattering or distracting?  
  • Have you had your makeup updated in the past 5 years?
  • Do you have a dynamite outfit that looks amazing on you?
  • Are your clothes free from pet hair, dandruff or lint?
  • Are your shoes in great shape or scuffed?
  • Is your handbag contemporary?
  • Are your business cards up to date and in a card carrying case?

These answers will help you get started on your physical appearance.  It’s not only how you look, of course, but how you present yourself.  I’ve always said it’s not just how you package, but how you present yourself that creates a strong one-two punch.

Once you’re at the event:

  • Set an intention or goal before you leave your home or office. 
  • Make sure your breath smells fresh.
  • Eat before you go.  You’re not there to eat, you’re there to network!
  • Make sure your elevator pitch is ready and that you can you recite it fluently.
  • Circulate, don’t stick to people you already know until you meet enough new people.
  • See who’s at the event and make the effort to meet people you don’t already know.

If you feel the need for a prop, hold a drink.  Just make sure it’s in your left hand, so that your right hand is free to shake hands, and you won’t end up having to wipe away the moisture from the glass before shaking someone’s hand. If you’re uncomfortable meeting new people, ask the host or someone you know to make the initial introduction.

The bottom line is this:  Networking is an excellent way to get your name out there and to meet people who can help you succeed in your business, regardless whether you’re in sales or looking for a job.  So relax, have fun, and remember to focus on your goal and your nervous energy should subside.  This is one time you can forget about Mom’s advice about not talking to strangers.  Afterall, strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet!

About the Author

Huda Baak

Huda Baak has first-hand experience in the topics on which she speaks. She grew up among ambassadors and international business executives from around the globe.  She has a multi-cultural background and is multi-lingual, having lived and worked throughout the Middle East, Europe, Canada and now the U.S.

She is an award-winning image consultant, and served on the Boards of Directors for the National Speakers Association and the Association of Image Consultants International.  She has spoken before thousands of professionals, and has appeared on numerous radio and television business talk shows in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She can be reached at

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women.

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

Back to the Basics: 7 Tips for Networking in Person

by Ashley Lauren Perez

With technology making it easy to communicate through email, texting, and social media, it can sometimes make professionals too comfortable. Technology helps make it easy and convenient to communicate with many people quickly and hassle free. However, professionals need to remember that it’s important to take time to get back to the basics and still network in person. Whether you are unemployed and looking for a job or employed and looking just to network for business referrals, it would be in your best interest to meet with others in person for additional networking opportunities. Adding this personal touch to your networking efforts can go a long way to building relationships.

If you’re new to networking or haven’t done it in a while, it’s important to remember the following key tips:

  • Be prepared: it’s always important to be prepared before you attend a networking event or situation. Make sure you have your business cards, be able to explain who you are/what you do in 30 seconds, research the event and individuals attending, and be sure to have good questions to ask those you come in contact with.
  • Dress appropriately: research the details of the event to ensure you are dressed appropriately but it’s always best to try and keep it somewhat professional and tame, regardless of the setting.
  • Don’t overdo it: food and drinks may be available at networking events. Be sure to not overdo it with alcoholic beverages and try to stay away from foods that might be extremely messy. Keep mints (rather than gum) available.
  • Don’t be shy: whether you are an introvert or not, it is important to not be shy at these events. Everyone is here for the same reason- to talk to new people. Put yourself out there. Even if you are naturally shy, you may feel more comfortable as you talk to more and more people.
  • Practice active listening: although it’s common for people to talk about themselves when they are nervous or unsure of what to say, your conversations with people should be 20% talking and 80% listening. You can keep the conversation flowing by asking the questions you prepared prior to the event. Be sure to also respond in ways that can show you can relate, which can potentially build a connection.
  • Work the room: it’s important to try and talk to as many people as you can, so be sure to not get stuck talking to one person or one group of people for too long. Spend about 10 to 15 minutes talking to one person/group and politely excuse yourself to move on to the next person/group.
  • Follow up: ask for business cards so you are able to follow up with the individuals that you talked to. This can help build your acquaintances into useful business relationships.

Networking is an amazing way to connect with people that can help you find a job, help you gain business referrals, or just a great way to discover new learning resources. The possibilities are endless if you are utilizing multiple networking platforms, whether it be social media or “in real life” meetings.  Most importantly, be prepared and open and you’ll be sure to make the most of your networking efforts.

About the Author

Ashley Lauren Perez

Ashley Lauren Perez is a talent acquisition specialist and a lover of all things HR related. Additionally, she is using her human resources and creative writing background to write a blog for managers, leaders, employees, and job seekers. This blog’s mission is meant to make a positive difference by being informative as well as inspiring.

When Ashley isn’t writing, you can find her: reading; partaking in outdoor activities; and embarking on adventures and travel.

Feel free to read more blogs written by Ashley at:

Or follow her on Twitter @AshLaurenPerez

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women.

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.

How to Network Like a Working Girl

by Melody Vaught

Working Girl


The 80’s movie, Working Girl, generated an epiphany for me.  The actress, Melanie Griffith, using information she reads in the business section, entertainment news, and, yes, even a tabloid, pulls together bits of information and formulates a successful business deal.  Having information is powerful and knowing how to put that information to use is genius—so I started speed reading my local newspaper, and, branched out to other newspapers, magazines and online sources.

You may be asking yourself how reading these publications could benefit anyone professionally but trust me, my professional and personal life have been enhanced by making this a habit, including being quoted in The Wall Street Journal.  Here are a few great stories that illustrate things.

Going Down?

Riding an elevator alone, the doors opened at the 2nd floor and a nicely dressed woman entered.  I asked my elevator partner if she worked in the building, she handed me her business card, the elevator doors opened on the first floor, she exited and I pocketed her business card.  Over the next three years, her name was mentioned in complimentary articles in the newspaper twice.  I mailed her the articles with a short note reminding her where we met and congratulated her.  Sometime later, a student came to me with a critical time- sensitive need.  I tapped into my network hoping to find someone who could help fill his need without any success.  I had my hand on my phone to call the student and admit defeat when I thought of the woman in the elevator.  I used her email address on her business card, reminded her how we met, presented the need and contact information for the student and suggested she contact him directly, if she thought she could help him.  This woman not only filled the student’s need but filled it in a spectacular way that changed the student’s life.  My only contact with this woman was that 10 second elevator ride and those two mailed newspaper articles.

Mind If I Quote You?

One newspaper I read is The Wall Street Journal.  I emailed one of the columnists with a website that was related to the subject of her most recent column.  She responded to thank me and requested some information.  When I provided the information she requested about my educational and professional background, she asked me for a quote on the topic of her next column.  She included my quote in her next column, gave me credit and included the name of my work place.

A Proud Teacher and College

Recently, a front page story in the Home & Garden section of the newspaper featured a two page article about an unusually decorated local home that caught my eye.   The front page of the article mentioned the home owner was the CEO of a multi-media company that produces commercials and movie trailers.  The next page included a quote giving credit to the college where I was employed for his start in film.  I sent a copy of the article to the faculty member I correctly thought had been this man’s film instructor.  I discovered that this man had stayed in touch with his instructor and the teacher gave me permission to use his name should I want to contact the CEO in the future.

How to Network Like a Working Girl

Over the years, I have mailed or scanned and emailed a hundred or more newspaper, online and magazine articles to the subjects of the articles, who were people I thought I might like to contact in the future, the top administrators in my organization with whom I wanted to network, and colleagues who I thought would find the information useful, with a short personal note, and, when appropriate, my business card or contact information.

In your business and your personal life, looking for ways to acknowledge the accomplishments of others and validating that you actively listened to conversations and remembered peoples’ interests and needs is a great way to network, make a lasting impression and open the door to opportunities.

About the Author

Melody Vaught

Melody Vaught is an Instructor at the Small Business Development CenterYouth Entrepreneurship Program and Counseling Instructor at Santiago Canyon College.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place!

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.