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Ask any job placement expert what the number one thing you should be doing to find work is, and they will tell you: network, network, network! That same advice applies to entrepreneurs and small biz owners who are just starting out.

What exactly does that mean though? For some people, it's joining professional organizations related to their occupation. For others, it could be using social media to make connections -- internet sites such as Facebook or Twitter. But it could be doing volunteer work for a good cause, or as simple as saying hello to people who live next door to you.

Besides expanding your personal and professional contacts, networking can help you stay positive during difficult times. It's natural to want to hole up or withdraw when the job search isn't going well. But that's really when you should force yourself to go out and meet new people or try new things you've always wanted to experience!

Here's some practical advice on networking from Judy Bishop, the owner of Bishop & Co., an employment staffing firm located in Downtown Honolulu. Visit her office and you'll see stacks of business cards on her desk from all the contacts she makes as part of her networking efforts!


For you tech saavy folks, the Social Media Club is a great group to connect with that meets to discuss the uses of internet-based technology to promote your business or personal brand. Click here to find out more. Their monthly Waikiki meet-ups -- or Tweet-ups -- are free and open to the public. Sign up for SMC emails to learn what the next meeting topic will be.

Another terrific group that's geared to women is Social Wahines, which combines business with fun, fashion, and other cool stuff. Check out their web site for news about upcoming events they're involved with!




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