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What is Networking?

Basis of networking and its benefits

+25 Karma if successful
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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Greg’s Answer

Lillian,

Networking is a great way to learn about perspective companies, the career paths of others, potential job opportunities, etc. Networking can be formal or informal. You might informally network with a neighbor that's had a career trajectory that is of interest to you, or you might attended a formal networking event such as one sponsored by your local chamber of commerce.

It can also be helpful to network with people that you may have known in the past (i.e., former teachers, co-workers, etc.). Sometimes these individuals may have started their own company, worked within a field of interest to you, etc. and can can be a great resource.

If you develop a good rapport, sometimes these networking opportunities can progress to a mentoring or sponsorship type arrangement with ongoing advice and support.

In terms of how you network, it can happen in a number of different forums. It could be a quick phone call, meet up for coffee, etc.

Good look with your networking journey.
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Josh’s Answer

Hi Lillian,

Trust your instincts and do what feels right for you. Networks come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone you meet—socially, at school, work, or within your family—is part of your network. The impressions you make can have a lasting impact on your personal and professional life.

In my 20 years of experience, every job I've landed—including my first one after college—was through my network. My first job was a referral from a college friend, my second from a co-worker's spouse, and my third from a contact I met during grad school. This pattern has continued throughout my career.

I hope this helps!
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Juliana’s Answer

Hi Lillian,

Networking is the process of establishing and maintaining connections with people who can provide support, advice, and opportunities in various aspects of life, including education, career, and personal development.

Here are some benefits of networking:

Opportunities: Networking allows you to meet people who may offer valuable opportunities such as internships, jobs, scholarships, or mentorship. These connections can open doors to new experiences and help you advance in your chosen field.

Knowledge and Resources: By networking, you can tap into the knowledge and expertise of others. You can learn from their experiences, gain insights, and access resources that may not be readily available to you otherwise. Networking can help you stay updated on industry trends, academic opportunities, and relevant information.

Career Development: Building a strong network can be beneficial for your career. It can lead to referrals, recommendations, and introductions to potential employers or colleagues. Networking can provide you with access to industry professionals who can guide you and help you navigate your career path.

Personal Growth: Networking allows you to meet people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Engaging with individuals from different walks of life can broaden your horizons, enhance your communication skills, and foster personal growth. It can also provide opportunities for collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

Support System: Networking helps you build a support system of like-minded individuals who can offer guidance, encouragement, and emotional support. Whether you need advice on academic challenges, career decisions, or personal dilemmas, your network can provide valuable insights and help alleviate any concerns.

Networking is a two-way street. It's important to actively contribute to your network by offering support, sharing knowledge, and helping others when possible. Building meaningful relationships can have long-term benefits throughout your academic and professional journey.

Good luck!
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Karen’s Answer

Simply talking to people about their careers is networking. The more you can learn about what other people do and like about what they do, the greater your chances of finding a career that you will enjoy. Once you find someone who describes a position or organization that is appealing, stay in contact with them and let them know of your interest.

With every good wish.
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