Developing your professional network in a new city
WITH SONIA IBRAHIMKHAIL
HUMAN RESOURCES COORDINATOR AT KUMABE HR AND SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (SHRM) HAWAII CHAPTER VOLUNTEER.
Starting a new job is challenging, but starting one in a fresh city can seem even more daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Starting with people you already know and working to expand your network can help put you in touch with new contacts even if you have never lived in your new city before.
Q: How can you utilize your initial contacts to land a new job?
A: The University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business master’s degree in human resource management program brought me to the islands from Mountain View, California. The program’s professional staff, program alumni and advisory board were great resources during my initial island job search and transition. I secured my current position through this route and the recommendations of people I met through the program.
Q: How can I expand my network?
A: I take the initiative to meet other HR professionals through my current employer as well as the HR master’s program. Trade organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Hawaii has also been a wonderful resource for networking. Attending the SHRM Hawaii Conference provided me with excellent tools and connections for career development. HR is my passion but there are excellent professional associations that align with any career interest, such as marketing or accounting, to help develop your network.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is moving to Hawaii?
A: Hawaii has its own unique culture, so being open to learning and understanding this new culture truly helped me feel comfortable fitting in and making genuine connections with those around me. I also had the privilege of visiting the other islands and experiencing their unique cultures, which ultimately helped inform my decision to move to Oahu. This experience has been humbling and my transition has provided me with a true understanding of the aloha spirit.