Networking is an important career development skill that is worth the time and process developing it. In its simplest form, networking involves having a career-like conversation. This can be discussing one's career journey, offering interview advice, and discuss other important career-related questions.
Networking with your contacts can lead to many benefits when utilized properly:
- Explore careers and jobs through gathering information from a professional through an informational interview
- Finding a job. Yes, when you network and market yourself at the same time, this can lead to professional opportunities. Research shows that as many as 90% of open positions are filled as a result of networking
Networking refers to a give and take process of connecting with people and building lasting relationships. It’s about meeting new people, sharing information, and learning about potential opportunities and various career fields.
Everyone has a network; it’s just a matter of thinking broadly and creatively about who is in it. This includes friends, family, neighbors, teachers/faculty (past or present), employers/coworkers (past or present), members of professional societies, employers who come to campus, alumni, religious affiliations, etc. In addition, the ever-evolving world of social media has opened up countless new ways to network virtually with virtually anyone!