By: Emily Gay
Networking is an extremely necessary task that must be done to grow in the real world. This is an especially important skill for seniors in college, because graduation is coming sooner than you think. This is how your dream job will find you. Finding a job is virtually impossible without networking.
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions. It is specifically “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” From this definition, it is clear that finding a job would be extremely difficult to do without networking. You must exchange information and form productive relationships for any job.
To put networking in a step by step process, it is important to first start with forming productive relationships. The next steps consist of helping your network, keeping in touch with your network and attending different events.
As for the first step, it is crucial to listen thoroughly to those around you, because ideally, you want to network with people who have similar interests and goals as you. This will help lead you down the right career path. Next time you are out, don't be shy — talk to some new people. You could find your next business partner.
The next step is to help your network. If someone within your network is working on an assignment or project, offer a helping hand or connect them to someone who is familiar with what they are working on. It is also important to remember that it is OK for you to ask for help as well. Having someone help you is just as beneficial as you helping someone else. Either way, it is building a strong network.
Then, you want to be sure to not lose connection with the contacts in your network. You never know when one may come in handy. It is easy to just follow up with someone every now and then just to see how they are doing. Nowadays, this has become much easier with social media. It is a great way to stay updated on friends and colleagues.
Lastly, you must attend different events to continue expanding your network. Attending different events will help you to continue meeting new people and exchanging knowledge. This becomes even more helpful when you attend events that you normally wouldn’t attend, which helps you to gain new insights.
Follow these tips to successfully grow your network and be one step closer to landing the job of your dreams.