Jenna Hamilton, Intern
When the word ‘networking’ comes to mind, what do you think of? For some, it’s the thought of standing at an event holding a stack of business cards thinking about how to approach a group of people, or how to nail down your elevator pitch. But networking doesn’t need to be intimidating. Networking can be as simple as going for coffee with a former classmate, colleague, professor or attending events in the city that are of interest to you. It’s all about making connections organically in a way that suits you.
Networking shouldn’t be discounted once you land your dream job, in fact it should be part of your routine career-related endeavors. One common misconception is that the main purpose of networking is to obtain a job, but in reality there should be no limit to expanding your professional network. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t stop networking after you land your dream job:
- Encourages mentorship
The connections you make when you network can lead to finding a mentor; someone to meet with who can give you career advice and help answer questions you may have as you path out your career. They can help guide personal decisions and give advice on how to navigate everyday life.
- Prompts inspiration
An effective way to continue growing as a professional is to find others who inspire you. Meeting likeminded people can open your eyes to fresh perspectives and ideas that you can bring to the table during your next brainstorm session at work.
- Improves communication skills
When you interact with others with diverse backgrounds, it gives you the opportunity to practice both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will be communicating in a variety of situations in day to day life.
- Builds confidence
Confidence is key! By meeting new people and building your social skills, you will feel more confident speaking in front of others in client meetings and presentations. The more confidence you build, the more you will show yourself what you are capable of and the value you can provide.
- Creates opportunities to learn
We are learning every day, and the best way to continue that flow of knowledge is networking with others from any industry! These people have gone through their own journeys and they can share their insights and perspectives about the industry, trends, and products with you.
Next time the word ‘networking’ comes up, think about all of the personal and professional benefits it has; and remember, do it the way that best suits your needs and interests. There is so much wisdom out there, so continue to tap into other people to learn and gain new perspectives as you continue to build your career. Who knows – maybe one day you’ll be the one passing on the sage advice.
Jenna Hamilton is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her passion lies within the realms of event planning, strategic communications and media relations.