Networking is an important part of building your career. Have an idea for a business start-up but do not know much about tracking inventory and assets, knowing someone who is good with numbers could help you go beyond a jumbled mess to an organized listing. Want to get into the food service industry but unsure of food safety? Knowing someone who is a chef or works at a restaurant would help you understand firsthand the answers to your questions.
“Networking is not only about trading information, but also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits” – Forbes
According to Forbes, here are some reasons as to why networking should be an essential part of your career:
- An avenue to exchange ideas
- It makes you noticeable
- Avenue for newer opportunities
- Reassessing your qualification
- Improves your creative intellect
- An extra resource library
- Growth in status
- Develop long-lasting relationships
Whether you are looking to build yourself a new career or are happy where you are, networking should always be an essential part of your everyday life. You never know when you may need someone to bake you a cake or help you with a loan or really anything else! Everyone has their own perks, talents, skills, and knowledge and it is always helpful to have a pool of different people to pull different information from.
One way to start networking is on LinkedIn. And here is how:
- Start with a complete built profile
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully complete and expresses all you have to offer or are interested in. A complete profile will attract more people
- Upload your online address book
- You do not always have to start by connecting with complete strangers. Connect your online address book and begin with the people you know or reconnect with old friends. Catch up with them and see what is new in their life.
- Join LinkedIn groups
- Connect with groups that you work for, volunteer with, went to school, etc. By following these groups, you are broadening your means of connections more than you know. You now have an open door to anyone else who follows/likes this group
- Continually update your status
- Networking is not just about who you know but who knows you. Regularly update your status and keep people updated on what you are doing. You never know when someone may have the same interest or have an opportunity for you based on your post.
- Attend events
- Whether they be in person or online, attend any events you are interested in. Be sure to be interactive during the events, this will make you stand out and help you to connect with others.
Do not be shy. Use your connections as a spider web of resources. Also, be sure to thank people with a personal note for their insight or their discussion on ____. If you are a student looking for opportunities in a certain field, networking can help you find the right unique opportunity to make you stand out to employers or could even land you a job. If you are already established but want to research a new career path, that friend you met through the online connections network, could help you get started.
Start by reaching out to those you already know and build from that. Attend events or seminars you are interested in and find at least one person you share something with or someone who interests you. Ask question and continue to update your status and post about your newest ideas.
You never know who may reach out and what opportunity may follow. Connect, connect, connect.
By: Amanda Overy, Marketing Intern