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The Importance of Building Your Network Now

The Importance of Building Your Network Now

Try one of these networking ideas today!

Kizzy Preston

March 02, 2015

When students first begin their undergraduate degrees, they may think that obtaining their degree will be enough to have the kind of career they want. While earning a degree is a huge accomplishment, often other factors play into getting a first job.

A few months after graduation, some students find themselves tired of searching job ads to no avail. New graduates often have no idea where to find the job they really want. This is where networking comes in.

Often a person within your network can help with job leads, make introductions to an important person, or open doors to new job opportunities.

Here are some tips for building a network while you are in – or just out of – school.

Join a group — For current students, most colleges have student organizations or groups that students can join. Everything from marketing, and business clubs, to the drama club, and sororities or fraternities are available for students to connect and share a common goal.

While in the groups the students get to learn about and discuss ideas that are important to them. The people in these group often form bonds that last well beyond the college years, and can be useful in the future.

For those that have graduated, check with your college for alumni associations, which are also great organizations for networking with other graduates from your college. These strong organizations often hold meetings and guarantee you have something in common with everyone in attendance!

Intern — During a typical internship, a student works for a company, usually for free, in order to gain real world experience in their chosen field.

Interns learn what really goes into having the type of career they want to have. While working in the internship, it is possible to develop friendships and contacts that would be helpful later during a job search. However, many new graduates have held interns as well.

The manager of an internship would also be a great resource when the intern needs a professional reference. The manager would be able to speak to the student’s ability to work in the real world, have good attendance, and excel on the job.

Volunteer — Volunteering is a fast way to meet like-minded people who share similar goals. There are many volunteer opportunities from animal care to literacy tutoring.

Through volunteering, you’re able to make a difference in the world, while making connections that may last a lifetime.

If the director of an organization sees how passionate a person is about working for an important cause, they will be sure to remember that when the individual is seeking work.

Attend Networking Events — There are many networking events that are held which you can attend. Based on what interests you, personally or professionally, you can attend events that focus on various subjects.

Everything from public speaking, to creative writing, and business, can be studied through networking events and conferences.

These networking events usually have hundreds of people involved. This offers the opportunity to meet and get to know people from various career levels.

If you’re currently looking for work (or when the time comes), you can reach out to contacts for job leads.

Network Online — Social media has made it possible to network with people in all types of industries all over the world.

You should always use social media wisely. Be careful about what is posted online. The online presence should be one that is professional, and speaks to a student’s good qualities.

Following people who work in the field they want to be in, is a good way to build up a network. Young professionals can learn so much just from following people already in the field. When the time is right, you can even reach out to people online for job leads.

There are many ways to network. You will get much further in their career search if they have many options for job leads, and professional references.

Try one of these networking ideas today!