Networking—What is It?
There’s a common saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. Now, while the validity of that statement is often debated, there is one thing that’s certain. Networking is very important in your life and especially your career.
“Networking? What is that? I’ve never heard of it!”
Believe it or not, I’ve heard this question quite a few times. There have been numerous college students ranging from Freshman to Seniors that have never heard of this term. Initially, I found that shocking but I realized that this term isn’t necessarily taught across all of the majors. For that reason, I’ve decided to make a short article about what networking is and it’s general purpose. My main goal in this article isn’t necessarily to provide methods and tips on how to network (I’ll save that for a later article). Instead, I’ll simply discuss why you should network and what benefits it could provide.
What is It?
At its core, the basic principle of networking is pretty straightforward. Your goal is to expand your influence and your overall web of contacts. The overall goal is to obtain information or opportunities from people and reciprocate. In a sense, most of us already do this and have been doing this since we were young. Have you ever met a person through another mutual friend or acquaintance and end up being at least somewhat friendly with that new person? Perhaps you weren’t the greatest of friends but you were more than a one-time acquaintance. Or maybe you’ve gone on to become amazing, perhaps best, friends.
The conclusion isn’t what’s ultimately important. However, the same concept applies. The overall objective is to meet people with the goal of mutual benefit.
Why’s it Important?
In the year 2017, simply having a high GPA and earning a college degree isn’t sufficient enough if your goal is to find yourself in a good job position. An article from the website npr.com indicates that the majority of jobs (about 70%) aren’t posted anywhere. This means that searching in the classified section of a newspaper or scouting a website like Indeed.com will only yield a very small harvest of potential job offers. So how could I possibly find these hidden jobs if I can’t search for them and apply, I hear you muttering in despair?
Utilize your social interactions and seek potential offers and advantages through people you know. Think of it this way, assume there’s a party just off campus you want to go to. A fraternity is throwing it and it’s extremely exclusive. You absolutely want to go to that party but unfortunately, you aren’t a part of that fraternity. However, you have a few good friends that are well-respected in the Fraternity. Your friends are the key to admittance into the party since they have the ability to get you in and they know you well enough to relay your great credibility. Overall the concept is the same.
Anyway, this was just a short article to get anyone unfamiliar with this concept to think more about it and expand their thinking when they meet people in the future. Have you ever had any success from networking or is this a brand new concept to you? Let me know in the comments, And as usual, thanks for reading!