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Table of contents
Three reasons why networking is important.
- Sharing ideas
Learning about what’s working and what’s not working in other workplaces.
- Lubricating relationships
Having relationships in place means that when there’s a problem, people can pick up the telephone and call someone they know rather than pick up the telephone and call their lawyer.
All workplaces have staff turnover. Networks are an easy, low risk place to find new staff.
No matter what the stage of their career, all professional people (including students and recent graduates) need to network if they are to be the best they can be at their job.
Networking is the key to forging professional relationships that will help you be better at what you do, make your work life more challenging and enjoyable, and may also provide opportunities for career advancement. Networking is the act of meeting people in your industry. Its aim should be to build professional relationships and connections. Early career job seekers need to do this too.
What is networking
Networking is about meeting other professionals who work in your industry and then building relationships based on the work that you do. Networking is not, as some people believe, false, shallow, or using people. It is not just an excuse for socializing. It is not a waste of time. Networking is part of being professional.
Many people fear networking. When you first start out, networking is going to be like any other situation where you don’t know anybody. You go somewhere with the hope of meeting new people, and you connect with them on the basis of common interests. Next time you go, you already know the people you met last time, and they introduce you to other people. Over time you’ll form friendships that will sometimes turn into deep relationships. In a social situation a deep relationship might morph into a life partner. In a networking situation a deep relationship might become a collaborator or an employer.
Put that way, networking is not so different to socialising. The big difference is that networking events are not parties. They are not nightclubs. You can still enjoy yourself, but just be professional about it.
3 reasons why networking is important for early career job seekers
Here’s 3 reasons why networking is important for early career job seekers. . .
- Networking allows for the casual sharing of ideas so that professionals can keep on top of industry trends.
- Networking lubricates relationships so that if ever a problem emerges, people can pick up their phones and call each other rather than their lawyers.
- Recruiting: As an early career professional, don’t ever think that you don’t belong. No impostor syndrome! Whether you realize it or not, students and early career job seekers are a part every industry’s ecosystem. It’s important for new graduates to network with established professionals, but it’s also important for established professionals to network with new graduates. That’s because in every workplace staff turn over and new opportunities emerge. Healthy businesses are always on the lookout for talent to invite to fill positions. In an established network it’s common for calls along the lines of. . . Hi Alex. It’s Sam from widget co. I just thought I’d let you know we have a new opening. I think that you would be a great fit.
Networking can be daunting when you’re starting out. It need not be. Ditch the impostor syndrome. Know that its normal to feel wary of going anywhere where you don’t already know people. You are part of your industry’s ecosystem. But you are not there to get a job. Networking is more subtle than that. You are there to build relationships with people in your industry, from which opportunities such as informational interviews may flow.
See also Dear graduate, networking is not a dirty word!
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