What Is Professional Networking?
Professional networking. Sounds familiar right? It’s not uncommon that we hear the phrase “your network is your net worth”
or receive advice from mentors telling us to network in order to achieve great things.
However, to network efficiently, like anything, you need to start off by actually understanding what professional networking means and what it entails.
What is Professional Networking?
Professional networking is the building and nurturing of relationships with other professionals in your own field or any other
However, it does not just consist of getting to know as many people as possible.
It includes the constant effort of keeping in touch and lending a helping hand whenever needed. Because no one likes
a person who asks for a favor and then vanishes into thin air.
In other words, a healthy network offers mutual benefits to one’s career life and professional aspirations.
How Important is it?
When professional networking is done right, it’s basically a constant set of new opportunities offered on a silver platter.
What does this mean? You’re exposed to NEW mindsets, NEW skill sets, NEW job opportunities, and NEW resources.
This vast expanse of newly unlocked knowledge can definitely be one of the greatest commodities for a flourishing career.
Who to Include in Your Professional Network?
Okay so now that you’ve understood what professional networking is, and realized its undeniable advantages,
now it’s time to start thinking about WHO you want in your network.
Because the wrong people can turn this experience from a thrilling affair into a draining chore.
1. University Professors
Your time at university isn’t just meant for you to huddle up amongst your books and ace every assignment.
Professors are usually highly accredited and well connected to have reached such a status.
Therefore, make sure to make use of such a resource. Prove yourself, build a rapport, and really get to form a professional
bond with your professors.
It is very likely they can refer you to a suitable job opening, or even help you along your career journey.
Yes, it’s as simple as that. Sometimes we exclude our own friends from our network whilst they might be the most accessible.
Always make sure to keep your friends updated with your career goals and aspirations.
They might just stumble upon the perfect opportunity for you.
Whilst you might know your immediate family well enough to find this suggestion to be quite absurd.
Have you ever thought about the connections your second cousin might have? The opportunities your aunt’s fiance
may provide you?
Make sure to keep an open mind when it comes to the connections you make because they might be closer to you
than you think.
Your coworkers are the people who see you in action. They witness your work ethic, and capabilities and therefore,
they might be the most qualified to help you in your career prospects.
Make use of such a privilege and remember to help them too along the way.
Where to Network?
Now let’s say you’ve exhausted all the aforementioned options and are looking for places to network.
Where should you start?
1. Alumni Events
If your time at university wasn’t exactly what you had envisioned, and you slacked on the networking possibilities, it’s never
You can always attend alumni events and get to meet many different people. And the upside? You’ll always have something
in common to talk about as you’re both associated with this specific institute.
So you don’t even have to worry about icebreakers.
2. Professional Networking Applications
Yes, there’s no need to go far. Simply using your phone, which is most probably always within arms reach, is enough.
Download Tays, the first professional networking app of its kind, and start swiping your way through potential connections.
This way you save time and energy you would have otherwise used up.
3. Networking Events
If an event is made specifically for networking then you just know you’re coming out of it with at least one sturdy connection.
Just imagine being in a place where everyone has the same goal?
To connect and expand their professional circle? That surely sounds like a good place to start.
4. Anywhere People Gather
The list can be endless because, in reality, you can network anywhere! Yes, the grocery store, a party, or even the spa.
Anywhere people gather, is a place to make connections. And whilst, it does not sound realistic to end up finding a great addition to your network in the grocery store, the point is to be open to the idea that the possibilities are out there and
you just need to be prepared for them.
Want to learn how to give your social skills a much-needed boost. Click here to read the article on the matter.
There you have it. The what, the why, and the how is all under your fingertips.
Just make sure you apply such knowledge because merely knowing won’t do enough. Good luck!