The Importance of Networking

It’s kinda hard getting started in your career when all you do every day is wait tables and do school work. Before you can land yourself in the job you want, you must put yourself out on the market- the job market, that it. The way to do that is to make contacts. Twenty people that can vouch for you is far more valuable than 20 job applications because the people that you talk to that have influence in the career field you wish to get into will eventually find someone who is looking for workers, and you will be the first person to come to mind. So then, where do you start?

Get Involved in Organizations

Whether it’s volunteering, support groups, or member societies, the focus isn’t really so much to gain more experience, but to meet new people and gain some direction. If you have to money to join a member society, there’s a lot you can learn from the experienced minds at those meetings, including stuff that you may never even learn while you’re at college. If you really put yourself out there, it’s highly unlikely you won’t run into a few people who will at least have some influence in your career field.

Start Looking for Internships

While you may or may not get paid, this is a great opportunity to learn. If you’re not having much luck finding one through career services, it wouldn’t hurt to go venture outside of campus and look for one yourself. Even though you only be getting 1 college credit for it, you’ll still be getting first-hand experience in the career field that you’re majoring in, at that’s worth more than any class you may take. Not only will this look good on your resume, but if you’re diligent enough, your employer should be more than happy to put a good word in for you wherever you wish to apply.

Create a Profile on LinkedIn

This is essentially the Facebook of the business world (but please, don’t treat it like Facebook). If you haven’t written a resume before, this will be your first one. It will go over a series of questions with you, asking where you went to school/college and what you majored in, where you worked and what your job entailed, what your skills are, and among others. You can also add your portfolio, which is useful too. The main thing though is to make contacts. Join networks that are relevant to your career interests and start adding people from those networks daily.

I’m sure there are other ways to get your name circulating through the job market, but these are very useful just by themselves. You could always rely on the chance that you may run into someone that will help you get on your feet, but how likely is that?  It’s work, but the contacts you make and the knowledge you gain through it is invaluable. If you were to build a home, you could feasibly do it yourself, but it’s going to take more work and you’ll end up failing more times than what it’s really worth. Careers are built by the support of others, and no matter how great you think you are, you can’t support yourself. Networking is one of those important steps that you must take to start building your career.