Getting a job or setting up a company in this economy is not a cakewalk. You could be in a top-tier college, securing the best grades, yet get rejected by companies for not having a solid CV. You need to do internships in your field, have extra-curricular points, and if you have a leadership position, then that’s the cherry on top.
Basically, you need to go beyond your comfort zone and work really hard to have an edge over your peers. But if you are smarter, you will not stop at it. You will network with people that will make your chances of finding a job better and easier in the future.
Networking doesn’t only help you in securing job offers, but also keeps you updated about the latest things in your field. So, how to do it? Where can you find people to connect with and how to initiate conversations with them?
Why Network With People?
Networking with people is a great way to know more about your industry. Hearing people’s success stories, things that they wish they had done differently, it helps you to make better decisions for yourself.
Having a strong network also helps you to get your hands on internships and job opportunities. They can recommend you which gives you a competitive edge over the other applicants.
Also, it builds your social skills. It helps improve your communication skills at an early stage of your career, which helps you lifelong. You watch your seniors interact with each other and you can adapt some of their good habits that you like.
Where And How Can You Meet People?
First, you have to understand that you can talk to N number of people, but many of them will have little to no connection with the field you want to work in.
That does not mean that talking to people outside of your field is worthless, but it means that you should connect with people who share the same interests as you at a greater capacity.
Interacting with your college seniors was and remains the best way to start networking. They have more experience, know the field better, and can help you connect with the right professors. They can recommend you for internships, projects, jobs, and help you to learn new skills. So, never shy away from getting to know them.
Doing internships and joining projects come second on the list. You will find ambitious people there who are interested in the same field as you. Talking to them will educate you more than any book ever will. Make sure to maintain good relationships with your superordinates as their recommendation letters would come in handy to you.
Joining college societies and clubs is another way to network. Not only is it great for your CV, but when you go out for competitions you meet several new people. Connecting with one such person, if not more, may turn out to be a blessing later.
With the advent of COVID-19, however, going to college has become a distant reality for many. So how do you do all these things now that everything is happening online? LinkedIn! LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with people.
You can send an invite note saying why you would like to connect with them and if they accept your request, then you can talk more about where you study, what your future plans are, and ask them whatever you want to.
Don’t wait for opportunities to knock at your door. Create opportunities for yourself, and networking is the first step towards that.
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