Networking is the act of expanding your circle of acquaintances by building your personal or professional contacts. In other words, meeting new people increases the size of your network. Career networking puts an emphasis on meeting people who can help you achieve your career goals. Continue reading to learn more about career networking.
Why should you network?
Career networking is great for anyone who wants to advance their career. There are many benefits to networking with other professionals. Examples include networking to:
- assist with your job search
- advance your current career path
- learn more about a different industry
Networking allows you to meet others who can introduce you to future opportunities. In fact, 70 – 80 per cent of people claim to have found work through their networks. Additionally, research indicates that 80 per cent of new jobs are never publicly listed. Instead, they are filled internally or through network recommendations. Furthermore, research findings suggest that being referred to a job opening by someone who is already working within the company can dramatically improve your odds of landing the job.
Who should you network with?
The short answer is that you can network with anyone. Career networking tends to focus on individuals that may help you towards your career goals. These can include:
- Past and present co-workers, managers, employers
- Business associates and clients
- Teachers and professors
- Alumni and classmates
However, networking does not always need to be professional. Be open-minded because you never know who will become an important person in your network. This can include building relationships with acquaintances from your personal life, family friends, or community member. Consider the people you see at the gym, church, or local hobby group.
There are many ways to network that can be done formally and informally. Formal networking events are hosted by schools, associations, or community groups. These events are a great way to introduce yourself and make connections in a professional environment. Alternatively, Facebook and Eventbrite groups are a great source for informal gatherings. Joining a hobby group or club will allow you to meet like-minded individuals who can also be great additions to your network. In addition, volunteering in areas that interest you is a great way to show interest in a particular area and make connections.
Networking is more than just making new acquaintances. Rather, you are hoping to create long-term relationships. You are not networking with the sole purpose of receiving benefits. Instead, networking should be mutually beneficial for both parties. Consider using an online platform such as LinkedIn to keep track of your network. Social media allows you to keep in touch with people in your network so that your relationship can nature.
Recommended blog: building a strong LinkedIn profile
Are you a skilled newcomer?
Creating networks may be difficult for newcomers who don’t have connections in Canada. Skilled newcomers can access the free services provided by Career Loans. These services include free career and financial support provided by expert counsellors. Eligible members can also choose to apply for a micro loan of up to $15,000.
Learn more and determine your eligibility by clicking here!