The purpose of this piece is extremely simple, to convince every single graduate that networking is of immense, significant importance and can only serve to help their professional (and dare we say private) lives.
Networking can happen really anywhere: at dinner parties, coffee shops and, of course, at dedicated events. It is relatively easy to search online and source industry, or demographic specific networking events. We would advise using websites such as Meetup or Eventbrite as well as asking colleagues and managers for any advice. So to help convince every single one of you, we have laid out plainly and simply five arguments in favour of networking that should have you booking your next event by the end of the article.
This is technically a by-product of networking, but the last time you walked into a room full of strangers was probably during Fresher’s week, and your first response was quite probably ‘where’s the Snakebite?’. This sort of behaviour, post-University, is generally considered in bad taste and part of adulthood is learning to schmooze whilst everyone is watching. Being able to walk into a room and approach people you don’t know (and quite possibly admire) is unquestionably a daunting experience. However, once you have mastered this difficult art you will find yourself far more able to take on other challenges.
People hire those they like and trust. If you are a familiar face who has demonstrated enough drive to show up to regular networking events and be remembered you are far more likely to find yourself, come interview day, sitting in front of a sympathetic panel. Not only that, but many organisations either do minimal job advertisement or none at all, as it is rather expensive and can often bring in undesirable candidates. Networking may mean you hear of job opportunities that otherwise would have slipped under your radar.
Every successful person has built themselves up (well unless they were bequeathed a trust fund). For most businessmen and women their achievements are due to hard work, talent (and very often) the advice and help of their peers and experts who offered invaluable help. This means they are extremely likely to want to return the favour and offer any help they can. Do not be scared to approach these people, they may be happy to meet with you for a coffee and offer some handy suggestions and support.
Any industry from accountancy to SEO faces constant change: laws, innovation and tech can all have significant impact upon an industry. Keeping up to date and aware will make you a far more valued employee and should improve your job performance. Not only do many networking events have guest speakers who are at the heart of their field, but simply talking to others should help bolster your knowledge and propel your career.
This is really the main reason for networking, to bring in business. Whilst many of you are quite possibly on grad schemes, many others are probably at smaller companies where every client matters. Raising brand awareness and enticing new clients with your friendly demeanour and proactive work ethic is a sure fire way to make your boss immensely happy with your job.