How do you start networking?
Hi, I have a few questions regarding how to go about networking. From what I understand the practice of networking is about discussing career opportunities with people who are involved in the fields that interest you or just to help you get your foot in the door for finding a job. How do you find these kinds of conversations exactly? Does it happen naturally, over time, with the social connections that you develop or do you need to go out of your way to find certain people that can help you out in the career department? Are there certain groups, classes or events that I can attend specifically for networking?
So, am I correct in what I think networking is all about? If so, what is your advice on how I go about networking?
Appreciate any feedback you can give me. #networking #career-advice #social-networking #connections #finding-a-career #general-career-questions
Networking comes in many ways. Whether you are socializing or at a company event. It can be as easy as the typical "What do you do?" that can spark the conversation. From there you can talk about goals and interests and what you hope to obtain. You have the right idea in terms of career opportunities, but it can also build a reputation for yourself, it can allow you to expand business, build client relations, etc. It does happen naturally overtime, but you also have to start somewhere. Believe it or not, you might be networking right now! Talking to the friends of your parents or your friends parents or even to your classmates are forms of networking. By talking to them about your career path and what your goals are, you have already set in place an idea about yourself. This person might be able to vouch for you for a potential employer down the line who is looking for an intern or entry level position and therefore you build off their network as well.
My advice is starting off with career fairs at your school if you have them. Make a resume and practice what you are going to say. Be able to respond to difficult questions and keep calm and composed. Another way is joining organizations where companies come and give a presentation. Usually at the end, people can bring resumes and have a one on one discussion with the presenter at the end. Talk to your parents to see if they know anyone who does what you are interested in and sit down and talk with them. They will have great advice on how to start your career and what they did to become successful. As you get older, this all becomes a lot easier, but it does take some practice in order to have a good conversation about what you are looking for.
Networking is so important, I'm happy to see this question because your head's in the right place. I completely agree with Michael's responses above, there are many forms of networking, some more formal than others. In your professional life, the phrase "It's not always about what you know, but who you know" rings true. Start small with whats convenient and around you - join clubs that might have connections you can leverage, interact more frequently with professors who are involved in a field of interest of yours, get more engaged in community events, start building a personal "brand" for yourself as someone who is proactive, engaged, smart, responsible, and eager to learn. The more you build your "network" the more resources will be at your disposal when attempting career changes, building advocacy for a cause, and so forth. Your network lasts forever! Maintain a positive reputation and be helpful to the circles/networks which you're a part of and it will pay off in the end!
If you're thinking of networking, in any way, you're in a great direction. I really feel whether it's virtual or face-to-face, meeting with people can bring nothing but benefits and opportunities. I know it's not for everyone, but I've actually bartended on the side of full-time jobs for the past 6 years. I've found you will meet people from all walks of life, and you can encounter anything from meeting the boss who might hire you, to stumbling upon a rent-to-own housing situation. It's crazy what you run into!
Profession wise, I'm not too tech-savvy, so online profiles haven't been my route of networking (however it's a great community and worth a shot!). I like face-to-face. The last 2 answers provided great options of where you could start networking depending on your preference.
Best of luck!
There is different ways to go about networking. I will give you a few tips here:
1. Online. You can build a profile in an online forum in your industry or in LinkedIn.
2. Attend an in person career fair or networking event.
3. Attend an online networking event.
The main idea is to connect with people and get to know them and also ensure that they know you and see a potential in you, establish a relationship and find a way that they can help you find a job or recommend you to somebody that could get you a job. For this reason is best that you attend networking events in your your same industry or career field, there you can meet managers, supervisors, and recruiters. One important aspect is that you need to provide reasons for them to want to know you.