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Get Into This: Instead of Grad School, Do Some Real Footwork

Aggressively connect with your network face-to-face

(Image: Thinkstock)

Anyone seeking success usually puts together a strategy for each phase of the journey. It’s like you hit a milestone and say, “Well, what’s next?” For some, it’s all about increasing marketability, access and knowledge, which means pursuing that advanced degree. Here comes more schoolwork, study — and oftentimes financial obligation or loan debt.

One writer, an experienced nonprofit professional, has what many (famously Oprah Winfrey) call an “Aha” moment that might have job seekers and professionals wiping their brow and letting out a sigh of relief. Rosetta Thurman, author of How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar: 50 Ways to Accelerate Your Career (Lulu.com; $19.99), calls it “radical,” but one could say it’s simply practical genius:

“During your ‘year of discernment,’ focus on expanding and exploiting your professional network instead,” she writes. “Meet with one person (who already works in your desired field) every week.” (This she addresses to those seeking nonprofit jobs, but it’s prime advice that could apply to any professional.)

‘Nuff said. Quite a challenge but that might be a better alternative than fretting over how you’ll balance financial aid, a full-time job … a kid or two … bills … and maybe a boo or spouse, all while trying to make those next boss moves.

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