What is networking? Is it easy? You hear it thrown around in everyday conversations, on TV, in articles, and from the Career Services Department at Globe University. Lisa Paulson of the Globe University Career Services Team shares simple networking tips in this article!
As defined by www.merriam-webster.com, networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”
In order to be successful, you need to build relationships with people and organizations in the industries that you are going into. This does not mean we want you to attend just any meeting and get as many business cards as you can. That will not help your career or interests and it will not help the people you meet remember you and what you do. You should attend events/meetings that are related to your industry, or services that you are passionate about and where your talents and knowledge can be beneficial.
Networking made easy!
The key to networking is to get to know other professionals and to remember it’s not always about you. Go in with an attitude of building a relationship for the long term. You never know which relationship will assist you in the future. Building relationships are about mutual benefits; not just for you to get a job now. Go in with the idea of connecting with one person. Always be professional! Ask them questions, request their business card, and send them a follow up email (or connect with them on LinkedIn) the following day. Include information they told you or a link to an article online. It shows you were listening and are interested.
Where do I start?
You can network by attending professional association meetings (SHRM-Society for Human Resource Managers), service organization meetings (Rotary International), professional development organization meetings (Toastmasters), or by simply volunteering at a local organization within your industry.
Networking online can have many advantages as well. Once you connect with someone face-to-face, you should include them in your professional network online–LinkedIn, not Facebook! You can keep in contact, see who they are connected with, and they will be able to see your professional information on your profile and your connections as well. This will get them to know you better. Another great advantage with LinkedIn is that your picture is included and it will assist the person in remembering who you are.
Here are some examples of organizations commonly located within many communities where you can jumpstart your networking efforts:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Humane Society
- Rotary International
- Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM)