When you define the word networking, you get two main definitions.
Connect as or operate with a network.
Interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career.
Networking is a definite tool for any and everybody. No matter what walks of life you are in, networking will always help you get to the next step. Networking can happen in many different ways. Let’s list a few examples:
Sometimes the world can take networking so serious and try to be formal about it, when in all actuality, it can be very fun! Networking events can come in various forms, from brunches to movie screenings. Some of the events have certain focuses for young professionals to connect, like business cards. One time we went to an event where it was strictly based on trading business cards and flyers with other young professionals while sipping on drinks and eating finger foods. It was so fun and polite! It also helped end the work day in a good way. It's refreshing to be around a group of people who have the same mindset, who wants to learn and grow in their industry.
Training for work is the formal way of networking. This is the time where you pull out your fancy suit, polish your nails, get a haircut, shine your shoes, and work on your firm handshaking skills. You never know who you might meet that can help you take your career or personal interest to the next level. This is a great opportunity to have an updated resume handy, and a well versed elevator speech.
Competitions is a way to show off what you are working with to a pool of people that have the exact same interest as you. Even though the goal is to beat the competition, it is also a great chance to network. Competitions always have a waiting period when the judges have to review and pick a winner. During the wait, it is key to start healthy conversations with your competitors. It’s a great way to meet people in your field from everywhere.
There are so many other forms of networking, we just wanted to shed light on a few examples. Do you remember the saying, “it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know”. Cliche, but true. Your talent will always shine, but sometimes, knowing people can make you shine brighter. For example, say you are applying for a job where you are in the top ten from hundreds of applicants. Someone in the picking pool, is someone you met and connected with via LinkedIn, an event, or a previous job. They are able to help shine a light on you and your skills all because of networking.
We are firm believers in networking! We are currently teaming up with Glow Girl Project, a company that promotes women empowerment during fun events. We have some pretty cool ideas that are coming to life during the summer. So stay tuned and get ready! Thanks for stepping into our world today, talk next week!