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Transition Tips: Building a Network

Are you in the FBI or the Intel Community, and need some advice about transitioning to the private sector? Look no further! In our new series FBI Transition Tips our members are sharing the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

This tip comes from Ian Cornell, who tells us building a network is worth the effort:

“Networking matters. Knowing someone inside an organization who can refer you for a job posting will significantly increase your chances of being seen by recruiters and hiring managers. But that’s not the most important reason to prioritize networking as part of a transition journey! Connecting with others gets you valuable INTELLIGENCE! Networking is what will help you address your personal intelligence gaps! What do I really WANT to do after the FBI? What organizations might be a good fit for me? What skills do my target organizations value or need? When is an organization about to post a job for which I’m a great candidate so I can get the jump on the opportunity before others?

I find that people talk about networking like it is easy, when in reality it can be daunting. When I first started my transition, I felt I was burdening people when I had a networking call with them. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t. If someone agrees to talk with you, they have CHOSEN to help you because they WANT to help you! And most people enjoy helping others. I had great luck reaching out to former FBI alumni, even when I did not know them. The shared FBI experience is unique and valuable - so use it. A great way to start networking is to reach out to former FBI analysts and agents on LinkedIn with a note, and have a chat with them. Then, ask to leverage their networks to help you start conversations with individuals in fields or organizations that interest you.”

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