The importance of proper networking, and in some instances, networking period, is the ability to build lifelong connections within the world that rewards you for who you know. Sure you can make a name for yourself and find success on your own terms but whether you realize it or not, there are more successful mentors and coaches out there that have the ability to steer you down a better path. They will help you avoid common mistakes that cause the average person to suffer. More importantly, they will guide you to even higher avenues with which you may never have gained access to alone.
It’s not always the act of greeting every stranger that walked by but instead the ability asking someone you already know for some advice. Whether they have the answer or not does not matter because if they are in a place of some form of authority, chances are that they will point you to someone they know who will have a better answer. This person-to-person exchange of advice and connection is what I consider true networking.
Networking is a skill they everyone should utilize no matter their profession. Especially if you don’t yet have a profession. I’m talking directly to the high school seniors and college freshman. You must take two actions during your first year away from home.
The first, establish the foundation for a long term mutual relationship between yourself and you previous high school administration. If they were anything like my wonderful school, they will have close ties with nearly every alumni that will be more than happy to give you that personalized advice to advance in the competitive world.
The second thing you should do is immediately start networking at your college. You are the new kid on the block and this provides the best opportunity to make a new name for yourself and establish new healthy relationships before all are preoccupied with exams and projects.
Networking, although it may seem obvious and redundant, will allow you a special advantage among your peers. Upon college graduation, everyone will be scrambling for the same jobs but if you have a solid network of connections, you will have the opportunity to be personally recommended for your a job of choice and, as we all know, will award you the position over someone else with similar credentials and zero connections.
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