Networking - Developing Your Professional Contacts
Networking is a term we hear commonly and it is one that we're told is important. But what is a non-technological network and why is it perhaps your most essential job search tool?
What Is a Network?
In its most simple terms, a network is a group of people who can help you to make connections. Your professional network consists of practitioners/professionals in your career field of interest or other people who have links to people who do.
The value of a network is that it provides access to information not readily available from print or online resources. Practitioners in a field can provide stories from the trenches: what their experiences have really been like, what they enjoy, what they find challenging, what they have personally found rewarding.
Practitioners can provide an insider's perspective on a particular organization: what's it really like to work there? They can help you surface trends about where the field might be evolving and what skills/knowledge base will prove useful, and provide information about job opportunities within the field and how to access them.
Perhaps most important of all, practitioners can link you to others working in the field. This is critical as you work to: