What is networking?
Networking is forming a chain of contacts that can be useful in the future profession and can also serve as a source of additional information in the field of activity. Such connections can also serve as a great way of creating and identifying business opportunities.
Accumulate Your Social Fortune
In the modern world, this is more about people you know and can reach rather than about money you have or about the skill, which you have acquired. It is important to remember, that network is not about people who follow you on Instagram, but rather about career-related contacts.
How to Build a Network?
The Great News is that you already have a network, whether you are aware of it or not. We all have friends, relatives or colleagues at a part-time job. This is your first step, so let us help you with mapping your further path. And we will begin with some easy steps to help you move onto some advanced ideas, which you can use in future.
Reach out to your professors
While this seems sleeky to many, I still believe this is one of the easiest ways to get your foot in the industry. Make sure you go for your major professor, as it is someone who knows a lot about your field, in which, I believe, you are most interested.
- use office hours to consult any questions you have
- keep asking questions, and not only about your lectures. Do some reading in your field, learn about some news, and ask your professor’s opinion
- seek extracurricular reading. You may be surprised to find out how many amazing things you professor can actually come up with. What is even more important, they can also recommend something concomitant.
Contact Career Center at Your School
There is certainly a career advisor or center somewhere in your school. However, have you ever been there and at list knocked on the door to find out what can you get there? Very few students do this, to my big disappointment. My career advisor helped me with my first resume, gave me some insight on where to begin and shared some contacts that helped me get my first full-time job! Did you know that in most schools alumni networking is also handled by Career Centers?
Set up your LinkedIn profile, evaluate any connection made and add anything career related, as well as skills you have. This network also helps you follow the companies you are interested in and makes some great suggestions concerning your profile.
Relatives and Friends’ Relatives
There have always been tons of jokes about ‘my mother’s friend has a son, who…’ but in terms of creating a professional network, this can be an amazing instrument. Have you ever heard any of your friends boasting about someone in the field you are interested in? You can always ask them to introduce you. The worst thing that can happen is that they will say ‘no’.
This is a tricky thing, as you have to choose your non-profits carefully if we are talking about building your professional network. Donating your time and skills (as I truly believe that as a student you don’t have much money to donate) is an amazing idea, but it can be also extremely time-consuming and enervating. Before you decide to volunteer for any particular organization, double-check whether either you will meet some people from your business sphere or this will count in your resume.
Attend Industry Events
This is an extremely hard thing to do, as you have to both find out about an event itself and be prepared. I would say this is a good idea for a sophomore. You can have a couple of resumes printed or opt for a business card resume.
Why do you need to network at all? The answer is pretty simple, as up to 70% of jobs are never advertised to the wide public. The final advice is to follow people you are interested in and if you get a chance to meet them, try to make a great and lasting impression.