Whether you’re a recent college graduate or someone who has decades of work experience, you’ve probably heard about the importance of networking. Effective networking allows people to connect with professionals in various fields and sometimes can even help people secure new jobs. Because of this, it’s critical to have a professional network to help you advance your career. Despite networking seeming complicated and technical, it doesn’t have to be hard! Here is some important information you need to know about networking.
What Is A Network?
First, let’s start with the basics. Your professional network is made up of the various contacts you have. These people can help direct you to job leads, look at your resume, and even give you professional advice, so it’s ideal to have an extensive network. You can add to your network whenever you meet someone who you believe is worth connecting with on a professional level.
Who Should Be In Your Network?
The people who make up your network don’t necessarily have to work in your field, so keep that in mind. They can be people you graduated with, your college professors, or people you meet outside of work. One of the most important things to consider when you’re considering adding someone to your network is a person’s character. A person might be a perfect match for what you want to do professionally, but they may have made some transgressions in the past that make them unsuitable to network with. Just like your personal life, your professional life can be affected negatively by associating with the wrong people.
How Do You Maintain It?
It’s essential to understand that your network is dynamic and needs some attention to be at its best. You should make sure to stay up-to-date with your contacts to ensure your bond with them remains as strong as possible. Stay in touch by sending them updates on how you’ve been and then asking them for the same in return. Try to reach out to your contacts regularly throughout the year, mainly to share any exciting professional news you have!
Do I Have To Be An Extrovert To Network?
A common misconception about networking is that naturally quieter people won’t be able to do it. However, this isn’t the case! With the use of sites like LinkedIn, you won’t have to meet people in person to connect with them. Also, if you’re a quiet person, you can start with the people you know and feel most comfortable with and gradually branch out to other professionals.
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