In this article, we will explore the crucial role of networking for students.
You may have heard about the old and yet very true adage, ‘It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.’ We do understand this may be an overly used statement, ergo, a cliché, but the truth is that this remains a reality across the world. You don’t have to like it, but it is true.
Networking is not just something we do in the professional world as a nicety. It is the basic essence of career growth. It involves engaging with professional contacts to expand one’s exposure and opportunities. There are many ways and means for networking. All successful professionals are those who have learned the art of networking and have put it to good use. For students, clearly, there is a working model, and as such, there is no need to break the wheel. Continue reading and explore why and how to grow your networks, even as students.
Eight Compelling Reasons Why Students Should Start Networking Early:
- Cultivate Stronger Professional Bonds:
One must learn to build trust, share knowledge, communicate effectively and exchange information to build proper networks. Again, if you actively support your contacts, you can help maintain this trust and forge lasting relationships that can prove invaluable in the future.
- Fast-Tracking Your Career:
Spending time with professionals within your desired industry can fast track your travel up the industry’s ladder. Again, catching the eye of experts who could be instrumental in propelling your career forward. To be able to catch the attention of these industry captains, it is essential that as a student, you make the time to attend professional networking events to gain industry exposure and fbuild relationships that could prove beneficial as your career progresses.
- Gleaning Precious Career Advice:
Networking offers you, a student, a great opportunity to learn and get advice from seasoned successful professionals. With these seasoned professionals, you can discuss challenges, explore the many opportunities that exist, and even delve into the finer details of their academic and extracurricular pursuits all of which can be very good advice on what to do and what not to do. This could be a faster way into becoming the top professional you seek to be.
- Fresh Ideas and Diverse Perspectives:
When you need inspiration for an essay or project, your network of contacts becomes an invaluable resource. Sharing experiences and challenges offers a fresh outlook, expanding your horizons in ways you might not have considered. Don’t forget to reciprocate, establishing yourself as an innovative thinker in your field.
- Access to New Job Opportunities:
There may be many jobs available, but if you are not aware of the job openings, how do you apply and secure those jobs? This is where networking becomes essential. If you expand your circle, the number of people you know, you can more than double your chances of landing a job because job openings can be shared with you by your networks. Additionally, you could be recommended by your network for the job.
- Staying Informed on Industry Trends:
Networking is a great path for staying ahead of the curve in any chosen industry and as can be agreed on by all, in-depth knowledge and skills, as well as foreknowledge is an asset that can help one stay ahead within a chosen career field. In essence, the wider your network, the wider the pool of information available to you.
- Boosting Self-Confidence and Communication Skills:
Every time you engage with someone new, what you do is to become more self-confident, all the while building your communication skills. Gradually, as your network grows, so will your confidence and communication skills.
- Nurturing Lifelong Friendships:
While many would come to the conclusion that the basic reasion for networking is professional development, you may very well realise that some of the longest friendships are borne out of networking. Once you continuously network with people within the same industry, you are bound to come across other who have shared interests, same as you, beyond the world of work. These friends tend to be stronger and last a lifetime. While the primary goal of networking is professional development, some of the most enduring friendships spring from work-related connections.
The Importance of Networking for Students:
As a student, you must realise that building a strong network isn’t only about building a career. In fact, we reckon that it goes beyond that. Networking can help shape you, your thought, your personal and professional life. We encourage you to embrace networkinng today and watch your life transform right infront of you.
Networking for Job Search:
Not all jobs are advertised publicly. In fact, many juicy job offers are shared within certain circles. How do you become aware of what’s available and what’s not available, as a student looking for a job, when you have not built a good network? Embrace networking today, and be informed about all these hidden opportunities.
Networking for Career Advancement:
Here are a few other random tips on how to use networking to futher your career.
- Build your network: Start by building a network of contacts who can help you find job opportunities and provide valuable insights into your field.
- Attend industry events: Meet professionals in your field and learn about new trends and technologies.
- Join professional associations: Connect with other professionals, attend events and conferences, and gain access to industry resources.
- Use social media: Connect with professionals in your field and join relevant groups.
- Volunteer: Network while giving back to your community.
- Keep in touch: Maintain regular contact with your network, even if you’re not currently job searching.
- Be genuine: Focus on building genuine relationships with people who can help you grow in your career.
In summary, networking is an essential skill for students looking for a job. By building relationships with professionals in their field, students can learn about hidden job opportunities, gain personal recommendations, gain insights into their industry, find mentorship opportunities, develop professionally and build confidence and self-esteem. Ultimately, networking can be the key to success in today’s competitive job market.