So, you’ve made it as a student. But what’s next? When you finish your studies you’ll want to secure a job, or perhaps start a business. But whatever you decide, you can’t do it on your own – you will need other people to open the door to the next big stage of your life. The secret, as so often stated, is not in WHAT you know so much as WHO you know. But the bigger secret is not in who you know but what they think of you! If someone is going to offer you a job, or be a client of your business, it won’t be enough to be skilled in what you do. If someone has got to know you, and considers you to be reliable and generally likeable, they are more likely to choose you over others with the same formal qualifications. So the way forward is clear; deal with everyone in a friendly and reliable way, and you’ll build your reputation accordingly. You’ll go far!
So how to achieve this? It sounds simple, but can actually be very demanding. What does it mean to be friendly and reliable to everyone you meet? Friendliness and reliability, in fact, are very similar in that they both involve remembering to do things. To be friendly means to show an interest in them as people – remembering birthdays, recalling their names, and what you talked about last time. To be reliable means you’ll do what you’ve said you’d do within an agreed time frame. If you retain information about people, then let them know that you’ve remembered by acting accordingly, you’ll stand out from the crowd, and they’ll remember you in return!
Remembering to do things is a tall order for busy people, and students are no different. You are bound to find it difficult to always be on top of your studies, and also to remember those birthdays, those hundreds of conversations over lunchtime drinks. So the answer is to write it all down – record it all in a way that is well ordered and easily looked up, even if you may not need it until several years later. For this, a CRM (customer relationship management) system is recommended. This is a type of computer software that is specially designed to list your contacts, record anything of interest about them, and to find their details afterwards. Most will offer you a current to-do list.
CRM systems will continue to serve you after qualifying, and will carry on providing effective contact-management in the world of work. And a good CRM system such as CONTACTfile will offer additional functionality for marketing, invoicing, and general business management. So, to start using a CRM now. It is part of your credentials, and can only be a good thing. CONTACTfile is available free to students for one year (subject to terms and conditions).
About the Author:
Heather Godfrey is a director of a company that designs and publishes database software. She has worked with database technology since the 1980s, and has applied her skills to formulate database applications across education, local authorities, and business sectors. During this time she has also been heavily involved with education and training, showing others how to support their administration processes. For more details visit: CONTACTfile