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What is the best way to network ?

I'm a Senior in highschool and want to know what networking is and how it helps.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Chris:

Networking is the means to communicate with professionals in various fields to learn more about them, their professions, their industries, etc. It is a way to share information, ideas and other contacts. Networking includes building resources that you can rely upon or refer others to.

Network ... Network ... Network ... the more people who know that you are looking to purse career opportunities ... the better your chances of learning more about the industry that you are interested in, getting hired, etc. Sometimes it is not what you know, but who you know. Also, family, friends and high school teachers and guidance counselors may know of contacts in the industry that you want to get into, so ask them as well.

LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with professionals across various industries, related or not related to your own field. One can search and view a company's profile, available open positions, professional profiles, etc. Within the news feed, one can view postings and announcements from other professionals.

With LinkedIn, members can send InMails to directly to each other without being connected to one another. Professionals who are directly connected to each other can send regular LinkedIn messages to each other. Professionals who pay for the premium service on LinkedIn have access to the InMail service feature.

Directly from LinkedIn Help:

"InMail messages is a premium feature, and it allows you to directly message another LinkedIn member that you're not connected to. If you have a Basic (free) account, then you can only directly message LinkedIn members that you’re connected to. You must upgrade to a Premium account to use InMail messages. You can’t message a member if they’ve chosen not to receive InMail messages in their message preferences settings. You’re allotted a specific number of InMail message credits based on your subscription type. You can find the number of InMail message credits you have from your My Premium page."

"Premium InMail message credits can't be used to send InMail messages on Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter."

According to ConsumersAdvocate.org, here are the best hiring websites:

- ZipRecruiter
- CareerBuilder
- LinkedIn
- Monster
- FlexJobs

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/job-search-sites/lp/best-hiring-websites

Here are other hiring websites to consider:

- Indeed
- Simply Hired
- Glassdoor
- Dice

When applying for a position, a checklist is good to go by:

- Research what the position entails
- Look at the job description and see where your background, skills, etc. matches what is required
- Research what the salary ranges are for the position
- Years of experience needed for the position
- Check out the company's website

Hope this helps and best wishes for your career search!
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Mike’s Answer

Hey Chris! I'm very impressed that you're thinking and preparing way ahead! Networking can sound a little buzzwordy, but it essentially means getting to know people and having ideally informative and delightful conversations.

As for how it helps, it depends on your goal of networking, and generally speaking, the two most common goals are acquiring information and asking for a favor. For example, you may network with college students to learn more about their majors to help you make the decision, and you may also network with industrial professionals to ask for their kind consideration for a referral for an intern position.

You may attend onsite events or send connect invitations/messages over LinkedIn to strangers with proper messages briefly sharing your situation, interests, and how would you like to interact with them, such as a 15-minute virtual coffee chat.

The best way is always to be genuine, thoughtful, and respectful. You probably want to avoid bringing up questions that you can easily Google for answers, but potentially more personal ones, such as "I saw on LinkedIn that you studied double majors, would you mind sharing the reasons/how these two majors interact with each other?", and usually the more personal bonding you develop, the more informative and delightful your conversation goes!

Best of luck and enjoy networking, Chris!
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Milad’s Answer

Depending on the field you are looking into I can only recommend job fairs. But even more so field specific fairs where you get to talk to the engineers and not only HR people. I personally prefer in person events over online networking. But both are necessary. You can also check online for business mixer in your city you live in. Create a LinkedIn account if you haven't already. Search for groups and companies that interest you and approach people actively with questions that reflect genuine interest in that person and what you wish to learn from them.
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Amalya’s Answer

Networking is very important in today's world. It helps you expand your professional connections and also learn from each other's experiences.
There are many ways to network with others. You can use the social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
In general, every new environment gives you an opportunity to meet new people and expand your network.
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John’s Answer

Hey Chris,

I get this question a lot so I actually gave a TEDx on the topic (see link below).

The best way to network is start where you are with people who have a connection to you (friend of parents, parents of friends, people going to the college you are going to or who recently graduated from there, etc.). My video takes you through what type of message to send, what to do in the meeting, and how to build a community through networking instead of just a list of acquaintances.

Best,
John

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMQQeV74H7U
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Karen’s Answer

Kudos to you for asking the question. Very simply, networking is using contacts to gain knowledge, skills, and/or experience. When looking for a job, you might ask your friends, family, neighbors and an assortment of contacts who they know in the field you might be interested in exploring. It opens up more possibilities for connecting.

Try to keep positive relationships with everyone you meet because you will never know when in the future that person might be a great networking source or even your employer.

With every good wish.
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Erika’s Answer

Hello Chris, Building connections through networking is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons, opening doors to countless opportunities. One unique and effective method I use to expand my professional network is my membership with Toastmasters. I've been an active participant since 2009, and I'm proud to say that I've achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award, which is the pinnacle of educational accomplishment within the Toastmasters community. Presently, I hold the esteemed position of President in my club.

As a member of Toastmasters, I have the privilege to engage with other local clubs, both in-person and virtually, which allows me to grow my network even further.

So, what exactly is Toastmasters? It's a globally recognized nonprofit educational organization that not only enhances public speaking skills but also boosts confidence. It's a network of clubs that meet both online and face-to-face. But that's not all; there's an added advantage. I've had the pleasure of meeting a diverse range of professionals at various stages of their careers through this platform. Plus, being a Toastmasters member is a great addition to your resume, showcasing your commitment to personal growth and professional development.

Erika recommends the following next steps:

Find a Toastmaster club to visit: https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club
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Roberto’s Answer

Networking is essential for your career.
1) it helps you to meet other professionals and get a better understanding of the business scenario
2) It helps you to be known, so that others can consider you for new opportunities
3) It helps you to gain eminence and reputation
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Sarah’s Answer

Networking can unlock numerous opportunities for you. It can introduce you to new individuals, provide career guidance or job prospects, and enhance your abilities.

Here are some practical steps to kickstart your networking journey:
1) Participate in any organization, whether it's Greek, Honors, Philanthropic, or Social. The goal is to interact with people who are also eager to meet others.
2) Attend a career fair.
3) Utilize meetup.com to discover groups that share your interests.
4) Offer your time and skills as a volunteer, either with an organization or independently.
5) Arrange a coffee or lunch meeting with someone you admire or someone whose job intrigues you. This will allow you to learn more about their work and receive personalized advice.
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Jerome’s Answer

Find associations that are connected to your intended field of study. They’ll often have networking events where you can network and learn.

Networking- at its core- is simply having conversations and forming bonds. I have 3 questions I ask people whenever I network, which align with Present, Past, Future.

After someone tells you their name and what they do, ask them to tell you more about their job or more about what they are going to school for. This is the present.

When they answer, ask what they did prior (past).

Then ask what they want to do in the future (future).

3 simple questions you always have ready and as they answer, maybe you find something you have in common and you can talk more about it.

People may ask you the same question and if they do, you can answers ready.
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