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Networking – the holiday version

Bérénice Kimpe - Franco-German branch office ABG-FGU

Here we are, summer has finally arrived and it’s holiday season. If you have decided to travel, you may have visited Tripadvisor to find your accommodation, your flight, some restaurants or to get an idea about your future destination. There is nothing better than knowing the opinion of people who already stayed where you will (probably) spend your holidays: this can save you from disappointment and frustration.

Concerning professional development, your professional Tripadvisor is your network. By approaching professionals of a certain sector or with a distinct profession, you can specify your professional destination.
Choose your destination and define what you are looking for
When you arrive on the homepage of Tripadvisor, you are asked to enter your destination and which type of information you are looking for (hotel, rentings, restaurant, flight, pictures of the place…).

In the professional setting, your destination will be either a profession, a company or a sector you are particularly interested in and that you would like to get more information about. Afterwards you define further parameters, like the size of the company, the department, the geographical sector,…

This will help you to figure out the people you would like to get in touch with: it will be your result list.

Read the reviews before booking your hotel!
Once your search criteria are selected, Tripadvisor will sort you a list of hotels that have been reviewed by former customers: comments, evaluation, photos…this will allow you to identify strengths and weaknesses of the hotel; whether the familiar or cheerful atmosphere fits your requirements…In short : to know all the facts before booking!
Similar for your professional version of the Tripadvisor: by discussing with someone who occupies the job of your dream, you will discover the everyday reality of this job and face it with the images of the job you had in mind. What are her/his missions and her/his responsibilities? What are the required skills and qualities? What does she/he like and dislike in his job? …

All the information that you do not find elsewhere: it will allow you to project yourself (or not) in this professional environment and to market yourself efficiently during the application process.  

Compare before committing yourself
When you are on the result list and you click on one particular hotel, Tripadvisor recommends you similar hotels. Then it’s up to you to explore the alternatives.
The same goes for your professional network: once the meeting with the professional comes to the end, think of asking her/him whether she/he can recommend you someone else you could meet. If you were clear about what you are looking for, she/he will indicate you other profiles, you probably haven’t thought of before.

With her/his recommendation, you will increase your knowledge about the job market that fits your profile and desires.

Up to you to leave a comment!
The strength of Tripadvisor consists in the active and reciprocal participation of its users: they are both consumers of information (they read the comments) and generators of information (they leave their own comments). Without this reciprocity of service, there wouldn’t be Tripadvisor anymore.

And this is also how you can develop and maintain your network: if you you don’t help other people in return, you give the impression of exploiting the members of your network: your contacts will finally abandon you and you will be perceived as someone who can’t be trusted.

Finally, don’t forget another essential rule of networking: Tripadvisor thanks you for taking your time to leave a comment, do the same with the person who has taken her/his time to meet you.

Now there is nothing else to do than to choose your professional destination: book the right one!

ABG is a French non-profit organization. Our missions are :
  • To facilitate the transition of PhDs (whatever their field and seniority) from academia to the private sector;
  • To help companies recruit PhDs.

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