From Facebook friends to Career contacts: How networking is a way to go?

Imagine graduating from college or university and being left highly unemployed. Suddenly, you are between a rock and a hard place. I know that feeling all too well because of my own personal experiences. Luckily, some people helped me by giving me opportunities to work for them as an intern.

Through networking, I have been able to find many jobs in different fields with different companies for the past 3 years without much experience or training. That's the power of networking and, of course, networking with like-minded people!

It does help build your professional network where you can capitalize on opportunities no matter your profession or area of expertise. So, In this article, we will learn why networking is so important for job seekers, how you can leverage your contacts to get a new job or internship, and which are the best places and events to network as a student or recent graduate.

Career Growth

Networking is a powerful way to explore your career path and find new opportunities. In fact, according to LinkedIn, almost 80% of people in senior positions say networking was one of the key factors in their career success. If you want to find a new job, gain access to exclusive job openings, or learn more about career opportunities in your field, you can benefit significantly from networking.

Compared to other job search strategies, the key advantage of networking is that you can immediately put it into action. You don't have to wait for a hiring manager to publish an ad and review applications. Instead, you can take the initiative by connecting with people you know who can help you advance your career.

Avenue for Job Search

Job seekers often overlook the importance of networking, but it is essential for connecting with hiring managers and finding out about new opportunities. If you have a specific job, you can use networking to find out who the hiring manager is. Building a relationship with the decision-maker can also ensure that you are on top of their hiring list. When job-hunting, you should look at networking as a way to get your foot in the door rather than as a way to find a new job.

It is important to remember that networking is not about selling or convincing people to hire you. It is about talking to people and finding out if they have job openings. If you can, connect with hiring managers at companies where you want to work. You can also network with people in your field who are not employed by the company where you want to work.

Networking at Workplace

If you are already working, networking can help advance your career by improving your visibility. Refining your networking skills means that you will become more socially confident and will be able to establish relationships with people in your field. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, building your network is essential.

Senior managers are always looking for ways to help people in their network. If you want to take advantage of this insight, you need to ensure that senior field members are informed about your progress and expertise. Last but not least, remember that it is not only your manager or coworkers who can help you with networking. Ask for help from colleagues who can provide information about organizing an event or are willing to speak to you about career advancement.

Related: LinkedIn: The goldmine for students and graduates

Your social well-wisher

With the rise of social media, people have become more connected than ever. While this has advantages, it can also make it difficult to break into a new network. Fortunately, the people in your network might be more willing to help you than you think. When you are networking, you are trying to create authentic relationships with people in your field. This means you are trying to be helpful and not just promote yourself all the time. If you demonstrate that you are socially committed, people will want to help you as much as possible.
Networking can be seen as your social well-wisher for a few reasons. Firstly, networking allows you to meet new people and expand your social circle. This can be beneficial in terms of both your personal life and your career. Secondly, networking can help you to develop and improve your communication skills.

Networking boosts your confidence.

Socializing with people and making connections can also boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. As you get more practice interacting with people, you will become more socially capable and be able to make friends easily. By engaging in social activities, communicating with people, and forming connections, you can take control of your anxiety and create a social network. It is important to remember that successful networking is not only about making new friends but also about keeping in touch with people you already know. You can always join our personality development programme to uplift your confidence.

Networking, your marketer

Finally, networking is a great way to build your brand and position yourself as an expert. By connecting with people in your field, you will have the opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise. You can also get more visibility online by participating in networking activities and events. If you have a website, blog, or social media account, networking can help you to attract new readers.

In summary, networking is an essential part of any job search strategy. It is a great way to find out about new job opportunities, get introductions to hiring managers, and discover ways to improve your social presence. If you want to succeed in your job search, you have to go beyond applying to job ads and make an effort to connect with people in your field. While it can be challenging to make this shift from applying to ads to networking, it can significantly improve your chances of finding a great job or internship.

Okay, but what are the best places to network?

Networking is when you meet people and get to know them. The best places to network are places where there are lots of people, like a party or a conference. You can also network online on websites like LinkedIn.

If you're still unsure where to begin your professional networking journey, here are the best places to start and grow your professional network:

Employment Fair: This is the most common form of networking. There are typically multiple employers at a fair, and they are looking to hire, hire, hire! So this is a great time to introduce yourself and your skills. The other people attending can be potential supervisors or coworkers.

Professional Grouping: This is where we go to a specific event or meeting, and it's meant to grow your network. Great places to look for professional groups: LinkedIn, Meetup, Chamber of Commerce.

Public speaking events: Public speaking events are usually after hours or in the evenings. They are a good way to hone your public speaking skills and practice for meetings.

Professional seminars: These events are significant to get the inside scoop on a particular field or industry. The speaker is usually a seasoned professional who has done what you're trying to do. I've heard seminars from attorneys, accountants, business owners, and book and software publishers.

Cultural Events: This can be an excellent opportunity to meet very outgoing people. For example, if there's a social event for your college alum group, attend that meeting. You could even run into your future supervisor! 

Volunteering: Volunteering is a great way to network and gain work experience at the same time. In most cases, many professionals involved with the organization can be good networking contacts.

The End

Networking is a great way to boost your professional success and get on track for a fulfilling career. It can help you to find new job opportunities, develop your career, and build your brand. It can help you to feel more confident and booming, and can make you feel more connected to others. No matter where you are in your career, networking is essential for success.

If you are interested in starting a new career, networking is a great way to get ahead in the job market, start now!

Remember that networking is not something you can do once and then forget about! It is something that you need to continue to do throughout your career. As you continue to network and make connections with people in your field, you will find yourself getting more and more opportunities in your field of interest.

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