Have you ever heard of career networking? Is it worth your effort? Who can do it? What is its importance? So many questions flow in your mind when you hear of career networking—no need to worry. At the end of this piece, you will have all the information on career networking.
What Is Career Networking?
Career networking is also known as professional networking. Thus, career networking uses personal, professional, or academic contacts to help in job searching, achieve goals concerning your career, and help you learn more about your career path.
Benefits of Career Networking
There are outcome when you career network, and here are some of the benefits.
• By networking, you can expand your career goals from the bottom to the top.
• Career networking gives you a chance to work for the company of your dreams.
• Networking expounds you to the bigger picture. You learn more about your career from mentors with more experience.
• You gain access to the necessary resources that will push your career development further.
• You stay top rated on the job market.
• By networking, you are exposed, and people start to notice you.
• You get to exchange ideas. Never say you know so much about something without hearing from other people.
• Networking increases your confidence. When you have taken a class in career marketing, you can interact with great minds like yours with ease. Meaning you are comfortable around big names.
• Building long-lasting relationships. You will forever be grateful to the person who told you of an opportunity somewhere. You will even go a step further and become friends leading to lifelong friendship.
How To Be Effective in Networking
To land that job you have been craving for a long, you have to be good at your networking skill. Below are tips you can use in networking.
• Figure out which style of networking works for you. There is no one way you can use in networking that will give you results at once. Every person has their own way of doing things, and this is also seen in career networking. Some people use their highly connected friends and families, while others send emails to different organizations hoping for the best.
• Have a game plan
With every networking opportunity you get, go with a goal in mind. For example, you can be invited to a dinner party that prominent figures in your industry are attending. Your goal should be to interact with two or three models and getting the best from the invite.
• Do follow up
After you have met your mentors during the dinner party and they have hinted of a job opening. They will likely give you their phone number and tell you to reach them out on a specific day. If the job opening interests you, do follow-ups. Chances of you landing the job are high if you show interest in it.
• Please pay it forward.
Having a coffee date with friends is one-way of doing this. The more you socialize with people, the higher the likelihood of hearing of an opportunity. When you do favors for others, it will be easy for them to reciprocate the favor.
• Network far and beyond
You don’t need to gate crash a cocktail party for you to be a successful networker. Figure out how you are going to do it outside the box. You can choose some of the events and organizations to attend which matters to you. You can start with where you are sure that the people you will meet have common and professional interests as you do. The other thing you can try doing is volunteering. You can volunteer to work for an organization for you to learn and at the same time showcase your skills. By networking far and beyond, you will land a job in the organization.
• Take advantage of strong and weak ties.
Everyone has strong and weak connections. A healthy and robust relationship includes friends in your inner circle, while weak ties involve your friends, but you don’t communicate that often. The inner-circle involves multiple best friends. These friends will help you network even without asking. The weaker ties are friends you met recently and have not yet graduated to being strong ties. They will help you in networking, but it will take more time and energy compared to your inner circle.
Who Can you Network With?
You cannot network by yourself, and other parties have to be involved too. The list below is of those people you can network with.
• People you have worked with and those you are working with currently. They include managers, supervisors, co-workers.
• Clients you have worked with and currently working with.
• People you schooled with in college or university.
• People you know from your personal life.
• Acquaintances from spouses and family members.
• People you have met in social places like church, gym, and in community organizations.
• Anyone you meet and have a candid conversation about your career.
• You can network with your university professors and teachers.
When you use the above tips, in regards to career networking, the likelihood of landing a job is very high. Go beyond your means and exhaust all options you might have when networking, and believe me; the outcome will be surprising. All the best as you network.