- Discuss the potential benefits of networking and why it is important
Networking introduces you to people who have been in the industry that you want to enter, or currently in. These people can give you a lot of insight within your field, or within their organizations, as well as trends in their industry. They will also be able to provide you with direction as to the aptitudes and training that you would need. They can also give you insider information on their organization structure, like the company’s culture, who’s in charge, things that only an isider would know. They will be able to provide you with a preview of what it’s like to be working in their position, in their industry. They can also open doors for you, by offering to move things along (Appalachian State University Career Development Center, undated)
Outside of job hunting, networking can also help you “improve your business performance, products and staff skills.” It can boost your reputation and it can help you find new leads. Networks may also lend you valuable experiences, information and support. (Business Link, Undated)
- Name and describe ways in which you can perform networking activities
Networking is basically interacting with others, as such it can take various forms like organized conferences, Web site-based discussions and debate, business trips sponsored by relevant trade organizatons, and social events. (Business Link, undated)
Attending conferences that is related to your field is one good way of meeting the top people in the industry, aside from the learnings you get from the conference itself. Bankruptcy conferences, for instance, often bring in various bankruptcy and restructuring professionals, and some have time set aside specifically for networking.
Cheesy as it sounds, social networking sites like MySpace.Com could prove to be a valuable resource of people who has the same interest as you do. You can also join a discussion group, where issues and trends are discussed. For example, a programmer can join sites that offer help to other programmers by making programming techniques and even a fully-functional program available on the site.
Trade organizations and parties are also a great way to meet people of interest.
Business Link offers that for one to be successful, one has to be an active participant in these events. It should be give and take. Whereas you learn from people in your networks, you shouldn’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned.
- Discuss resources that are available to assist you in establishing a professional network and improving your networking skills.
Many people find networking partners via personal introductions by an existing network member, or by contactting the organizations of interest (Business Link, undated). A quick look at Google would provide you with a list of Web sites that offer free networking tips. Everything from improving your people skills to finding information on trade events and meetings. You have the alternative to be there in person, or feel your way around discussion boards if you think face-to-face is too much. The challenge would lie in how you’d trim down these available resources for your own effective networking.
“Networking Benefits.” Appalachian State University Career Development Center. Retrieved on
7 December 2007.
“Learning through Networking with Others” Business Link. Retrieved on 7 December 2007.