Networking is extremely important. Many students will try to find a job by looking online or through a job listserv. However, in order to truly find a job, students need to talk and develop relationships from within the working force. De Janasz and Forret explain that the, “prevailing wisdom suggests that 70–80% of all professional jobs are not obtained through classified advertisements; rather, they are obtained through effective and consistent networking” (2008). Networking can increase your contacts, establish interviews, and cultivate mentors throughout your education and career. I believe that networking can establish your future profession, your income, and pave the way for your passionate career. Here are a few ways it can help you out.
Make the effort. In order to have networks and contacts, the most important endeavor is to spend time within libraries, archives, information agencies, companies, and so forth. If you are not willing to spend the time, then you will never begin to delve into different professional careers. This can occur through part-time jobs, volunteering, internships, conferences, and other functions. When you begin to talk with other professionals, you need to be succinct and clear about your career aspirations. It should be your “30 second commercial” or your elevator pitch (de Janasz & Forret, 2008). Many say that it is “branding” yourself, which I somewhat agree with. Thinking about what your future career will entail can improve future discussions. By thinking about and preparing for this first, you can have a much easier conversation.
Conversations are not networking. Networking is a constant dialogue with the contact individuals. After you speak about job availability or other, unpretentious banter, you need to get their business card and contact information. The most imperative aspect is writing a follow-up email stating that you enjoyed the conversation and the possibility of coming to the next event. Another way to demonstrate the relationship is by writing a snail-mail letter of the given subject. These are vital expressions by making sure that the individual remembers and becomes mindful of you and your interests. Likewise, Stevens asserts that there are strong networking ties as well as weak ties (2011). Strong ties “can get you more access to favors from those people.” Weak ties are usually, “a contact they met briefly at an event. That means the more people you meet and network with, the more likely you are to find new opportunities.” Both ties of networking are great for your career path. Choosing whom you want to talk to, how long, and establishment of the contact is the networking connection.
Finally, many of us are introverts whether we acknowledge ourselves or not. If you are an introvert and have a difficult time starting conversations, than there are other options. For introverted individuals try to form a networking experience, de Janasz and Forret state that, “Skill-building opportunities in how to approach other people and introduce themselves, as well as opportunities to learn how to engage in ‘small talk’ to help find areas of common interest can enhance individuals’ networking abilities” (2008). Think about your strengths and how you can enrich the conversation, also leave out weak subjects in order to stimulate the communication.
Networking will develop throughout your life. By talking and letting people know of your interests, people will want to help, assist, or possibly hire you based upon the simple connections (Muir, 2009). Next time you go out, remember to establish relationships with other people and ensure your contact interactions.
Please use the references below and look up networking experiences from different databases for a clearer understanding of the connections.
De Janasz, S. C., & Forret, M. L. (2008). Learning the art of networking: A critical skill for enhancing social capital and career success. Journal of Management Education, 32(5), 629-650. doi: 10.1177/1052562907307637
Muir, C. (2009). Rethinking job references: a networking challenge. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(3), 304-317. doi: 10.1177/1080569909340687
Stevens, C. K. (2011). Don’t discount the value of networking. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/docview/901016082?accountid=14925