Tips From The Trail Featuring Angel Fimbres-Barcelo

Women's Public Leadership Network (WPLN) is excited to continue our Tips From the Trail interview series featuring leaders who are working in or around politics or have run for office. In our first Tips From the Trail of 2024, WPLN’s Maureen McInerney was joined by Angel Fimbres-Barcelo, Senior Talent Advisor at Big Fish Recruiting, to share advice and tips for women who are resolving to become a better networker in the New Year. 

Angel, a familiar face at WPLN's past two National Summits (find more information about this year’s Summit in Denver, CO here!), has offered valuable insights to our audience over the years. As a Senior Talent Advisor at Big Fish, Angel advises both companies and job seekers, helping  them navigate the hiring process, build a successful talent pipeline and improve their career prospects.

Whether you're eyeing political office, a job change, or simply want to strengthen your current position, networking is key to building a robust professional network. Angel encouraged viewers to embrace career shifts, noting that “On average, a person has about twelve different jobs in their lifetime, typically all before the age of 35.” 

When networking, be clear and straightforward about your intentions. "Vagueness will decrease your chances of a response," she advises. "Instead, keep it simple and relevant to your mutual interests." At the end of conversations, be sure to ask for introductions or follow-up connections with anyone they can put you in touch with.

Angel stressed that mentors play a crucial role in the networking process, so seek out mentors for yourself and become a mentor to others. Also consider mentorship as a two-way street:  “The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a revolving door… Your goal should be to reciprocate someday and bring the networking relationship full circle.”

Angel’s Two Key Takeaways For Networking Success: 

  1. Learn by doing: Sign up for opportunities that interest you or would require you to step out of your comfort zone and grow professionally.
  2. Set specific and attainable goals for networking by marking your calendar. Commit yourself to attending in a way that will motivate you personally, whether that means ordering new business cards or purchasing an outfit you feel confident in.

How can women resolve to be better networkers in 2024?

  1. Start with who you know. Improve your networking skills by starting with people you know first by creating a list of twelve people you'd like to catch up with.
  2. Showcase your skills. If you're a writer, or pursuing a career in communications, try circulating a quarterly newsletter to highlight that expertise.
  3. Embrace virtual connections. If you're in a remote or rural location utilize FaceTime (informal) or virtual coffee dates (formal) to build relationships.
  4. Create an online presence. Ideally, secure your own domain name and build a website. If not, LinkedIn offers the ability to personalize and showcase your personal brand or career aspirations.

One event to add to your 2024 networking calendar? WPLN’s National Summit, June 20-22, 2024 in Denver, CO. The theme is “Elevate Your Leadership: Rise Above,” and we know we will all need a breath of fresh air in June of a Presidential Election year. Register today!

Watch our full live interview with Angel here: