When you interact with others to exchange information and develop contacts, which might be professional or social, that’s networking!
Have you ever heard the saying that no man is an island on his own? This simply means that no one is self-sufficient, and everyone relies on others. A man once traveled in the same airline with a top business owner who was coincidentally a Board of Director in one of the organizations that he had applied for a job. The man who was just seated by him decided to start a conversation, one thing led to another, he sold his skills and expertise right on that plane and he was given a chance at the job.
Networking is mutually beneficial. Everyone has something to offer, no matter how little. Sometimes, you might not know who might be of help to you in your academics and career.
Never look down on your fellow classmates because you really do not know what positions they might be occupying tomorrow and how you can help one another. Apart from providing strong professional ties, networking helps in your career and profile advancement, leads to an exchange of new ideas and even gives you higher confidence.
There are so many ways you can network with others, one of the most popular being social media. As a student, how do you utilize your social media pages, especially LinkedIn? There are professionals In your field of study, you can connect with them for mentorship and career advice and who knows, you might just be landing yourself a job through those relationships once you are done with school. Comment on people’s posts and start intellectual conversations with them.
Go out! It is very important to attend gatherings where you can meet people. Even if you are shy, you can stick around with the people you already know and who know the people you are looking to meet. The introductions will be made easier that way.
Remember that networking is not always about asking for a job or favor. It is all about building relationships. They might come in handy someday!