#1: Relationship-building is the real goal
After interning in DC for two summers and working full-time for nearly three years now, I have come to understand the importance and value of networking with my fellow peers and colleagues. People say that networking is important for your success, and while I do agree, I’ve also found it to be simpler and less daunting than that: I like to think of it as simply connecting with people on shared values and interests and continuing to build relationships. To me, it’s relationship-oriented, not goal-oriented.
And while I believe relationship building is part of a lifestyle and not one event, Thursday’s happy hour is a great start. For those new to the Washington, DC area or simply looking to connect or re-connect with the Asian Pacific American (APA) community, CAPAL’s springtime happy hour offers a wonderful opportunity to do so.
#2: Join forces with like-minded people
This year, CAPAL is very excited to be partnering with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association (CAPASA) for a fun night of networking and engagement. Other community organizations joining CAPAL include the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Advancing Justice-AAJC, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates.
I’ve learned in my professional life that seeing things from someone else’s point of view is immensely helpful. Understanding what others care about and what their passions are is an important step toward bringing common ideas together to build something great—whether it’s a charity fundraiser or bringing relevant issues that affect all of us in the community to the forefront.
#3: Be generous – Help and give more than you take
Furthermore, I’ve found that networking is also about reciprocating and giving often – such as helping others with their goals when you can – rather than being a means to an end. I think when I’ve been generous with my energy and my time with others, becoming genuinely interested in their goals and passions, it has come back and helped me in ways I would not have anticipated! But you have to give.
There are so many fantastic people I’d love for you to meet on Thursday. So come enjoy the night and also learn about CAPAL’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala on May 9th and how to purchase tickets. I will be there, and I hope you will be there too.
Andrew Chang is the bilingual community outreach specialist and public information officer for the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA). At OAPIA, he is involved in communications and outreach duties for the agency, and also uses his Chinese language skills to assist limited English proficient, District of Columbia Asian American and Pacific Islander residents with their issues, particularly in the area of employment. Outside of OAPIA and CAPAL, Andrew is also involved with the AAPI community through OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates and OCA-DC. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Andrew has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Public Affairs from the University of Florida.