If you’re a professional in the modern world, it can be difficult to imagine networking as a valuable skill. However, networking still remains one of the most valuable things about the professional world and it’s necessary to be in a position of power and happiness at your company.
Networking comes down to a simple thing: talking. Though most things these days are digitized through phones, tablets, or laptops, communication is still key when working to build your network. One prime example is LinkedIn, a popular job-seeking website. This website allows you to: build your portfolio, work on networking, apply to jobs, post jobs, and request messages, recommendations or references from people you’ve worked for/with in the past.
LinkedIn is only one of many sites that strive to help you build your future; CareerBuilder, Indeed, and Monster also fall into these network-building categories.
However, relying only on job application sites isn’t the best way to work on networking. Attending events, speaking with other professionals, and building rapport with the professional community in your area are all great places to start. Start with local fundraisers, which are usually open to the public and allow you to mingle with local professionals. Fundraisers lead to brunches, lunches, and other events with a community leader. Working with local law enforcement, colleges, and other areas of aspiring professionals is also a great way to start building your own network. Reaching out to past employers, coworkers, and other professionals is a good first step; see where they stand in their life and ask if they have any recommendations for a networking idea that would work for your lifestyle.
Networking is a complicated business but again, it comes down to one thing: communication. So get out there, apply to jobs, and build your network all with the power of your words!