Networking is the act of exchanging information to cultivate productive, organic, and lasting relationships. When you develop and maintain strong and productive relationships across many different facets of your life, you increase your chances of those relationships positively impacting your career goals. It is important to recognize that engaging in networking opportunities will not lead to results overnight; it is a long-term strategy that will allow you to build a strong community of individuals and professionals that, when accessed properly, can support you in your career development journey.
When you learn how to network effectively, you bypass the internet job application gatekeepers and increase your chances of getting interviewed. It is about leveraging the connections you already have who can confidently attest to your past performance and future potential. Furthermore, it is also about putting yourself out there and using your connections to persistently and continually expand your networks. Even though we know that networking is a necessary component of uncovering the hidden job market, many of us still find it uncomfortable and question whether what we are doing is right. In this chapter, you will learn how to prepare yourself for both planned and unplanned networking interactions, as well as identify many different networking activities that you can incorporate into your overall job search strategy.
By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
- Define networking.
- Identify strategies for networking, social media networking, and personal branding.
- Determine the strength of your personal-professional network.
- Identify possible ideal mentors.
- Assess the benefits of mentoring partnerships.
In addition to newly-authored content, this chapter was adapted from two Open Education Resources:
Six Steps to Job Search Success by Caroline Ceniza-Levine and Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio
Be the Boss of Your Career: A Complete Guide for Students & Grads by Lindsay Bortot and Employment Support Centre, Algonquin College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Adaptations included editing tone, images, removing content to align the chapter with BCOM210 course learning objectives, and revising examples for an FHSU student population and adding some original exercises to align with course objectives.