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I know networking is important, but how do I start and where do I go?

Thank you for the advice! Zemira M.
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Patrick’s Answer

Networking is an excellent way to initially learn about an industry or career. Networking should be both virtual and in-person (when that is available). Initially, virtually can help someone new to the industry learn and understand the key topics and even the lingo. Once you get comfortable with the audience, the topics, and the questions being asked, you can become more comfortable asking your own questions.

I highly recommend in-person networking (when that is available again). Join a local group, get involved in committees. Even if you are new to the industry your ideas, questions, and points of view will be helpful in keeping the topics fresh and making a difference. Everyone can and should learn from everyone.

LinkedIn is a great starting point for the networking and groups. While in the groups, ask about associations and other organized groups that meet regularly on topics that are of interest to you.
Thank you! Zemira M.
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Anthony’s Answer

Hello Zemira! I am happy to help answer your question.

If you are looking to network with industry professionals, I would recommend joining LinkedIn. This is a valuable resource where you can connect with professionals in almost every field. Once you have connected, make sure to reach out to them individually and introduce yourself and let them know why you wanted to connect. This helps make the connection more personal and shows them that you are driven and motivated. In your message to them, ask for the opportunity to set up an informational interview. This is an opportunity to ask them questions about their career, and take advice about what you can do to reach your career goals. Lastly, make sure to stay connected with these individuals. Don't just reach out one time, get what you want, and then never connect again. Make sure to follow up in a few months and check in on them.

Another way to network is to look for networking events that are often hosted by Universities or local businesses and companies. These can be posted in a variety of places, but can be another great opportunity to connect with industry professionals. In these settings, you probably won't get the opportunity to ask a bunch of questions, but you can make the initial connection and then ask for their business card so that you can follow up and set up another meeting later on.
Thank you. Zemira M.
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Sanjeevirayan’s Answer

For me I've started by doing video courses, but quite fast you'll need to get hands on experience.
Nowadays you can do it petty easily thanks to available platforms with sandboxes environemnts.
Also for me a great motivation was to subsribe for basic certification, that is a great way to organize your knowladge and keep you ontrack.
Network Engineering is always in high demand and a very rapidly growing field to work in.
There is generally a doubt among people about what work Network Engineers do? Let us clear it to you that Network Engineers are responsible for designing and managing the groups of computers networked together. Also, the installation and configuration of network devices, troubleshooting processes and technical support & assistance operations linked with their job profile. In this article, we will let you know about the pathway and strategies to Become a Network Engineer.
However, there are as such not any specific educational criteria but yes, most of the companies prefer that candidates should have at least a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree as per the position level. Also, you can go for the vendor certifications like CCNA, CCNP, etc. for better opportunities. If you are looking for a career switch and want to be a skillful Network Engineer, you have to follow the right pathway.
you need to complete Electronic and Communication Engineering Degree and need to completed CCNA Routing and Switching Certification from Cisco
This strongly depends on your learning preferences.
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Patrick’s Answer

Networking is an excellent way to initially learn about an industry or career. Networking should be both virtual and in-person (when that is available). Initially, virtually can help someone new to the industry learn and understand the key topics and even the lingo. Once you get comfortable with the audience, the topics, and the questions being asked, you can become more comfortable asking your own questions.

I highly recommend in-person networking (when that is available again). Join a local group, get involved in committees. Even if you are new to the industry your ideas, questions, and points of view will be helpful in keeping the topics fresh and making a difference. Everyone can and should learn from everyone.

LinkedIn is a great starting point for the networking and groups. While in the groups, ask about associations and other organized groups that meet regularly on topics that are of interest to you.
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Alison’s Answer

Hi Zemira! It's awesome that you're thinking of ways to network, and it definitely gets easier the more conversations you have. I would second the advice from Anthony about using LinkedIn. When you reach out, it's a good idea to customize your message and mention what specifically about the person you're interested in (work experience/career interests). You may be surprised at how many people are open to connecting, and you can always ask them about others in the industry who they would recommend talking to as well. Be sure to have questions prepared about the person themselves and about the industry you're interested in--but stay engaged during the conversation too, as you'll likely have more questions after you start talking.

Depending on who the person is, the conversation is just as much about you getting to know them as them getting to know you. Have your story prepared, such as your career interest and your background/skills. You never know if this could lead to a job opportunity later on. Good luck!

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Yun’s Answer

There are some great places to start suggested above here. When networking with new people, make sure to be yourself, be genuine and honest. Listen actively. Start with a relationship rather than an end goal. It's great to keep in mind that you are talking to people, who can tell when you are talking to them because you want something vs having a genuine conversation.
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Tricia’s Answer

Zemira, I would echo the previous answers about using LinkedIn to find groups for networking, and individuals who are open to networking. But don't neglect your own circle. Reach out to friends and family members. Ask them about how they got started, who they know, what connections they are willing to make. Very few people have 'straight line' careers, but you won't know this unless you ask. The 6 degrees of separation may be an exaggeration, but you will be very surprised at the wide circle of experience and influence you can tap into just by starting with your closest friends. It is more comfortable than reaching out to strangers and it will help you develop some good questions for networking in the broader context. Good luck!
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Nolan’s Answer

Hi!

Great question and you have some great answers already!

I would like to add that as great as LinkedIn or other "traditional networking events" are, do not forget that every day to day interaction with someone may be a chance to network! You never know who an individual you meet is, or who they may know, so treat everyone with respect!

For example, I met a fellow at my previous summer job (completely unrelated to my field of study) and we just started chatting. He happened to be a former partner at an accounting firm I was interested in interning for. He provided me with tons of valuable information and got me in touch with the right people!

Definitely take others advice on more traditional methods of networking but be aware that you really are networking and building relationships in your daily life!
Thank you for the advice! Zemira M.
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Saradhi’s Answer

Dear Zemira ,

I see there are couple of responses already. However to further understand your question, when you say network - you meant collaboration with professionals across their respective fields?

OR

Networking as a career in computer world - like Data networking, Internet, Voice, etc.

Please let me know, based on that i can advise further.

Thank you.

regards,
Saradhi
I am referring to collaborating and coming into contact with professionals. Zemira M.
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