You’ve heard people telling you to network your way to a new job. But that seems easier said than done. Maybe you don’t have a network or you don’t like to network or perhaps you don’t know how to network. Before you worry about any of this, start with a plan for network development.
If you really want to grow your professional networks, you’ve got to focus on building valuable relationships through networking science… Networking isn’t just about shaking hands and trading business cards. It’s not just about trying to find a dream job or new gig. A solid network is helpful for a variety of reasons. For example, it can assist you when launching a business, showcasing a project, and of course, meeting new people. But there is an art and science to networking. Networking Science 101 The best part about networking? Other than occasionally leaving your comfort zone, there are no downsides.
Networking is defined as the “cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business” by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Sounds pretty crucial to career success, right? Unfortunately, your professors may or may not have exposed you to the idea of networking to build potential work relationships or how to go about it.
Most people I talk to, especially introverts, are uncomfortable with the idea of networking.
But I’ve found a way to adapt and engage in networking activities without feeling yucky…
When we begin building our professional network, we make networking mistakes we all wish we could take back. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a networking do-over. No worries. We’ve all been there. We all have to start somewhere.