Debonair Catalyst Life story of Aniket

Networking done the right way

Category: Blog | #MS in the US

Exactly one year back, I was a student looking for exciting job opportunities. My idea of networking at that time was to go to a career fair and ‘network’ with recruiters. Soon I realized that this was not working for me. So I gave up on networking. But after some time, I realized it was working for me in a way I never imagined it would work. It took me almost a year from then to recognize the real power of networking. And Yes, it works, only if done in the right way. So here we are, understanding what the right way is?

However, first, let’s understand what the wrong way is.

Career Fairs: Attending a career fair and delivering a 30-second elevator pitch to a recruiter just like every other person is not networking. This can be the first step in some cases, but it’s not over there. Also, it’s rare for Recruiters to be someone’s boosters (The minority group of people who love their job and want to help people). Also, Career Fairs are too chaotic to be productive by any means. Those long queues and that big stack of resumes!

Networking events/Meetups: This will be a good start. Many people genuinely come here to expand their network. You can find people that want to help you. LinkedIn: Simply adding someone to your LinkedIn network is not networking.

Who are your networks?

Everyone. I repeat, EVERYONE.

Everyone you know is your network. Even, everyone around you who is observing you is your network.

How to use your network?

Expand your network.

  • Networking Events/Meetups: Attending a networking event can be a good start. On meetup.com you can find several meetups for your profession. Attend those meetups, meet new people. Moreover, don’t directly cut to the chase on the first meet. Be genuinely interested in them, in what they do, their interests. Please have a good and healthy communication/discussions with them. Learn things from them, take help from them.

  • Volunteering: Attend events as a volunteer, do things for free. Help people for free. This is a very effective way of getting free tickets for any event/conference and also helps you to connect with many professionals.

Let your network know you.

Your network is only as strong as they know you. So let your network know you personally. Let your network know what you are good at, what you specialize in and if you are an expert/master in something. Let all the people around you know how professional you are.

Start a blog, write an article on medium.com, be active on LinkedIn/Twitter, you need a dynamic personality at the center of your network.

Strengthen your network.

Make them like you. This can be tough. You have to be a good person for this. People like to work with people who are genuine and good at heart. Helping people goes a long way to strengthen a relationship. If your network is strong, they will come to you when they have a problem, because they know whom to consult. Moreover, remember each of their problems is your opportunity, to strengthen your relationship.

Nurture it well.

Great things can’t be done in a day. It needs time. Keep expanding your network and strengthening it. This is the time where you need to practice patience. So basically you have to be professional in your way. Networking is just that. Be kind to people, and they will value you. Help people and they will help you back.