Networking to Land a Career

Networking to Land a Career

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

When people get together to meet and talk, they sometimes learn a lot about each other. At family gatherings, people might find out about what their cousins or aunts and uncles are doing and how their lives are going. At parties, friends might find out more about each other and about the other people they know. What happens when job seekers and businesspeople get together? Through a process called networking, people can connect with each other in ways that can benefit them and lead to success.

What does the word “network” mean to you? If you work with computers, you probably know that networks in this area are all about connections. The same is true in business and job searching, except that this kind of networking involves people instead of machines. When people need something, they can connect with someone who has what they want. A person who needs a job, for example, can connect with someone who is looking for employees. Someone who has something to sell can connect with someone who wants to buy it. For some people, these kinds of connections can make the difference between success and failure.

Networking can take many different forms. Sometimes, it can be as simple as just talking to friends and family members about a product or a job need. It could involve talking to people on the street and passing out business cards. Often, however, employment agencies and business centres have more formal networking events when people can get together to meet each other.

Suppose that you have a business of selling greeting cards. You might take some of your cards to a networking event to show to other people so that they can see exactly what they can but from you. What if you are a high school student and are unsure of what direction to take after you finish your studies? By networking at a job fair, you might be able to find out what career suits you and be able to choose the right educational path for what you want to do. Networking can help you achieve your goals.

Usually, networking involves meeting people face to face and talking with them, which might be very difficult for some people. How can people network with others if they find it difficult to talk to strangers and to explain themselves? Some of the basic networking techniques can help for people who are not natural talkers. Preparation is very important for anyone who wants to build up a network of contacts. Having a business card to hand out, even if it includes only a name and e-mail address, can be a good way to be remembered.

Gathering information and forming relationships are important parts of finding a good job. Following up on those contacts is as important as the first meeting, and a large part of networking happens after the actual event. When networking is done well, it can help lead people to success in their chosen fields of work.

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