Building Blocks: How Large Does Your Network Need to Be?

Networking TipsYou’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again – “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Of course, your network can’t make up for lack of knowledge or capability, but they can help get you an interview when you might not otherwise. While building a network, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s the quality of the connections you make that matter, not the quantity.

Your network should and will continue to grow as long as it is beneficial to you. However, handing out business cards any chance you get will earn you no favors down the road. Here are some simple guidelines to follow to keep increasing your network with quality industry professionals:

  • Do something nice for someone in your network at least once a week. Yup, being nice is a way to increase your network. But how do you grow your network if you focus on the people that you already know? It’s simple! People talk and if you do enough selfless acts (we’re not talking moving mountains here – more like bringing in donuts, passing along a job opportunity to someone that may be a fit, exceeding expectations on deadlines, etc.) for others, it will become apparent and those people will remember you when speaking with others in their network. Do unto others, right?
  • Make an effort to meet new people in your industry at least once a month. Again, you’re hearing us right – just once a month. It could be as simple as attending your local Jaycee’s chapter meetings, a business women networking event, an entrepreneur meetup group or more. Not only does this give you the opportunity to enjoy after-hours time with your peers, you also are getting your name and face out there while enjoying a nice night out.
  • Maintain existing relationships. OK, so this final bit of advice is a mixture of the first two but important nonetheless. Making contacts is important, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Cultivating those relationships will show that you are invested in them, giving you the benefit of the doubt when an opportunity arises. Remember: it is the tortoise that wins the race, not the hare.

Networking is all about building relationships, not increasing the amount of connections you have on LinkedIn. Be in the forefront of everyone’s mind for the right reasons. Not a member of the Jaycees? You’re missing out on a great opportunity to create some meaningful networking connections! Visit our website to find out more about our organization and how to join

7 Questions with Andrea Pack, 32nd President, Ohio Valley Jaycees

Andrea Pack served as the 29th also serves as the current 32nd President of the Ohio Valley Jaycees. Born and raised in Wheeling, WV, she stayed in the area to attend college at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I am

Andrea has served on the OVJC Board of Directors for the last eight years – since she was 21 years old! Currently, Andrea is employed at Russell Nesbitt Services, Inc. providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. In addition to her commitment to the Jaycees and her full-time position, she also waitresses at a local restaurant part-time. In what little of her remaining free time, she enjoys reading, riding four-wheelers and hanging out with her family.

How did you decide to get involved with the Jaycees?

  • I’m actually what you might call a legacy. I have been involved with the Jaycees through my parents since I was a small child and always knew I would be one. My dad was two-time president and I am now on my second term.

What has your experience been as a leader within your organization?

  • It’s been an amazing learning experience. I’ve learned more about interacting with people, putting out fires and “walking the walk” than I ever thought I could. But most of all I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

Is there a special recipe for leadership? Or is it more about learning as you go?

  • Being a leader takes lots of hard work, a good tongue biting reflex, the ability to take constructive criticism, and being able to let go of the small stuff. Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation. You have to be able to learn and grow as you go to be a good leader. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.

How has joining the Jaycees enriched your life?

  • I can’t imagine my life without the Jaycees. Having grown up as a Jaycee, I have had the unique experience of really being raised by that proverbial village. The Jaycees are my family, as much as my cousins, aunts and uncles are. The feeling of being able to give back to the community is such a great thing. It never fails to make me feel like a better me when I can help others.

Do you have any advice for Jaycee members seeking a leadership role within the organization or in the workplace?

  • Ask someone! I guarantee that the people on your local or state board of directors will be super excited that you’re interested. I know I would be! (And for those leaders/board members already out there: the reverse is true, sometimes all you have to do is ask someone to become more involved and they will!) In the workplace, I would say use those skills you learned in Jaycees like public speaking and event planning using the CPG. You’ll blow them away! (my boss will tell you so.)

What are the best skills or knowledge to have in order to be successful in this job?

  • I’m going to list my top three: 1. You will never make everyone happy; 2. You will inevitably make someone mad (see No. 1); 3. Don’t be afraid to be innovative, but listen to constructive criticism and keep it in mind (always with a grain of salt).

What part of your involvement in the Jaycees makes you most proud to be a key member of the organization?

  • Andrea Pack served as the 29th also serves as the current 32nd President of the Ohio Valley Jaycees. Born and raised in Wheeling, WV, she stayed in the area to attend college at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I am

    Andrea has served on the OVJC Board of Directors for the last eight years – since she was 21 years old! Currently, Andrea is employed at Russell Nesbitt Services, Inc. providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. In addition to her commitment to the Jaycees and her full-time position, she also waitresses at a local restaurant part-time. In what little of her remaining free time, she enjoys reading, riding four-wheelers and hanging out with her family.

    How did you decide to get involved with the Jaycees?

    • I’m actually what you might call a legacy. I have been involved with the Jaycees through my parents since I was a small child and always knew I would be one. My dad was two-time president and I am now on my second term.

    What has your experience been as a leader within your organization?

    • It’s been an amazing learning experience. I’ve learned more about interacting with people, putting out fires and “walking the walk” than I ever thought I could. But most of all I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

    Is there a special recipe for leadership? Or is it more about learning as you go?

    • Being a leader takes lots of hard work, a good tongue biting reflex, the ability to take constructive criticism, and being able to let go of the small stuff. Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation. You have to be able to learn and grow as you go to be a good leader. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.

    How has joining the Jaycees enriched your life?

    • I can’t imagine my life without the Jaycees. Having grown up as a Jaycee, I have had the unique experience of really being raised by that proverbial village. The Jaycees are my family, as much as my cousins, aunts and uncles are. The feeling of being able to give back to the community is such a great thing. It never fails to make me feel like a better me when I can help others.

    Do you have any advice for Jaycee members seeking a leadership role within the organization or in the workplace?

    • Ask someone! I guarantee that the people on your local or state board of directors will be super excited that you’re interested. I know I would be! (And for those leaders/board members already out there: the reverse is true, sometimes all you have to do is ask someone to become more involved and they will!) In the workplace, I would say use those skills you learned in Jaycees like public speaking and event planning using the CPG. You’ll blow them away! (my boss will tell you so.)

    What are the best skills or knowledge to have in order to be successful in this job?

    • I’m going to list my top three: 1. You will never make everyone happy; 2. You will inevitably make someone mad (see No. 1); 3. Don’t be afraid to be innovative, but listen to constructive criticism and keep it in mind (always with a grain of salt).

    What part of your involvement in the Jaycees makes you most proud to be a key member of the organization?

    • Watching my father run our local organization and then having the opportunity to do it myself. Learning that I’m capable of doing things that scare me to death. Knowing I can hold my own among professionals of every level. Having a Jaycee family who always has my back.

Want to share your experiences as a leader with the Jaycees? We’d love to hear from you! Contact our National Chapter to find out how.

Digital Downloads: Stay Connected with the Jaycees

Social Media TipsSo you signed up to be a member of the Jaycees – now what? A HUGE part of being a member of our professional networking organization is staying connected with both your local chapter and other Jaycee members around the world. Where can you go to talk with other members? The real question is where can’t you go and find a Jaycee member!

Facebook – If you have become a fan of The United States Junior Chamber yet, you need to do so immediately! We’re always sharing important Jaycee information, professional tips and tricks and of course because we are just an overall cool group of people to chat with. Don’t forget to also become a fan of your local Jaycee Facebook page. Your chapter doesn’t have one? Take that as a challenge to set one up and gain fans!

Twitter – Tweet, tweet! Yes, we are on Twitter, too. Twitter is a great social media platform to get shorthand news and industry information on the fly – both from us and other professional outlets. Whether you’re looking for a way to impress your Wednesday night networking group or need a better way to stay up on current events, connecting with the Jaycees on Twitter will help.

LinkedIn – If you joined an organization that is designated for young working professionals and are not on LinkedIn and connected with the Jaycees, you need to change that ASAP. This social media network is where professionals go to connect, share job openings and more. Need another reason to join LinkedIn besides connecting with other Jaycee members across the country (and we hope you don’t, because that alone is a wonderful networking opportunity)? Recruiters use LinkedIn as a place to find qualified candidates for job openings. Give yourself a presence on LinkedIn or you may miss out on a great opportunity.

Webinars – If knowledge is power, then look out for all of the Jaycees that sign up for our webinars! The frequency varies, but generally there are one or two webinars a week that can span from New Member Orientation to Public Speaking 101 to The Art of Negotiation. These are FREE for members. That’s right, we said free. If you’re looking for a way to improve your professional skill set and connect with influential knowledge leaders, then tune in for a webinar!

So there you have it! Staying in touch with your industry peers is an essential part of maintaining the network that you have worked hard to build. By digitally connecting with fellow Jaycees on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and webinars, it’s a great place to start. Have questions about social media? Visit our Facebook and Twitter and take a look around! We’re always sharing information to help members get started.

The Jaycees Through the Years: Charles Lindbergh

Professional Networking GroupFor over the 93 years, the United States Junior Chamber – or the Jaycees – has, some very bright and famous names become members of our organization. Did you know that before he was the first person in history to travel on a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Charles Lindbergh became a member of the Jaycees? Together, the Jaycees and Lindbergh helped make history.

Pre-Jaycees, Charles Lindbergh attended engineering school at the University of Wisconsin – that is before he dropped out to learn how to fly! After joining the Jaycees, Lindbergh graduated from Nebraska Aircraft Corporation in 1925 at the top of his class. No surprises there!

With the Jaycees’ national project focusing on the development of aviation, it was only a natural pairing for Lindbergh and our professional networking organization to work together to help improve upon how we were using flight to the country’s advantage. Before the flight from New York to Paris, Lindbergh and other Jaycee members collaborated to develop what we now know as our current mail system: airmail.

After that, the rest is history (no pun intended). Lindbergh wowed the world when he achieved ultimate fame by completing the first trans-Atlantic solo flight. He eventually settled down, married and had a family. Following a long period of war, drama and family tragedies, the Lindberghs finally found solace in travel and permanently took up residence in Maui, Hawai’i until his death in 1974.

Not only did Charles Lindbergh do so much to increase awareness for the United States Junior Chamber, he also was a pioneer in aviation and many of the luxuries we know today would not be possible without his knowledge. Do you have a favorite famous or well-known Jaycee member that you would like to see featured in our “The Jaycees Through the Years” series? Visit our Facebook or Twitter and let us know!