The Importance of Networking in College
The more you know about networking in college, the better prepared you will be for your future beyond college. In addition to your academic responsibilities, it’s up to you to discover and develop a path into the future.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the importance of networking in college so you can begin preparing for life post-graduation.
Networking in College
If you think college is about meeting new friends, going to classes, studying for exams and finding time to play, well, you are right. Those are important aspects of college life. They are not the only aspects, however.
One of the most important actions you can take in college is called networking. You have likely heard of networking by now and know that it involves meeting the right people who can help you currently or in the future with your career goals.
In fact, a recent report claims 85% of all jobs are found through networking.
Here are a few reasons why networking in college is so important.
Allows You to Keep Learning
Graduating from college and getting your diploma does not mean you should quit learning. Employers expect you to keep up with trends in your industry, maintain certifications and licenses, and even spend time researching on your own through books or online resources.
Networking is a great way to gain information about your industry. Networking with leaders and peers in your field helps you hear tips and gain advice from others who are successful. You can even learn important news and upcoming changes that may be happening within your field.
Networking also teaches you how to properly interact with others.
Gives You Practice for Your Social Game
Your social game while in college may be awesome. It just may not be appropriate for the workplace. Learning to improve your career social game while still in college can prepare you for interviewing and communicating with co-workers and leaders of a company.
Once you begin your career, you will be expected to communicate well with everyone, from customers to leaders. Having great social skills and knowing how to use them to benefit the company will prove you are an asset to the organization.
Networking is a great way to practice your social skills, make changes as needed, and practice more. You can also observe how others interact, taking note of what works and doesn’t. The more you can adapt socially, the better relationships you can build throughout your career.
Good relationships are built on trust, which can lead to you getting insight into opportunities to better your career.
Connects You with Better Opportunities
You have likely been imagining what your life will be like once you graduate and start a career. Unfortunately, what you think will happen and what happens can differ. You may see yourself working as a manager as soon as you complete college.
Employers may want you to start at a more entry-level position. You will not want to stay at this level. It is usually the goal to move up through the company, matching your skills and talents with a higher paying job.
Networking can get you in front of the people who know when jobs are being created or becoming available. Build a good relationship with the right people, and they may give you tips on future employment opportunities before they are announced to the public.
You may not even need to seek out opportunities. The more you network, the more hiring staff get to know you. They may choose to reach out directly to recruit you for a position you didn’t even know existed.
And if you need help in making decisions like this, you can reach out to those you met networking who can offer guidance.
Having a mentor in your career is a great idea. But don’t wait to start finding mentors until after graduation. You can start connecting with others in college who can help you through college life and beyond.
It can be hard to find one mentor that meets all your career needs. It’s also hard to find a mentor that is accessible each time you need advice.
Networking can help you build a support system of mentors that are available on a very part-time basis. It allows you to match your need with the mentor you feel can help you the most. If you have a question regarding furthering your education, you can contact an academic advisor.
If you have a question regarding finances, you can contact the bank representative mentor. Networking helps you build relationships with multiple resources.
Helps You Standout in a Good Way
Many college graduates have big plans in their career to advance to the top, to become a leader in their field one day. To do so, it will take more than just showing up and working hard. While those traits are also necessary, you will need to get noticed.
Networking helps you get noticed. Attending social events, community functions, meetings, and other networking events will help you meet more of the right people.
Standing out in a good way means you are doing positive things that help others remember you. Offer insights and ideas that can help someone else be successful on a project. But don’t be a know-it-all. Pass along valuable information that can benefit colleagues.
When you are rewarded for doing a great job, include your co-workers and leaders in your “thank you”. After all, it does take the whole office to be successful. Keep conversations positive, show loyalty, and take the lead on projects without making others feel you are taking over.
Most of all, make others feel valued and important. They will remember this feeling and associate it with you. This could help give you an edge when competing for a job post-graduation.
Take these tips into account when on social media too. Consider anything you do online as a networking opportunity. Many employers will check your social media accounts before hiring you.
Now that you know the importance of networking in college, you can begin developing your path for your future post-graduation.
You want to do whatever it takes to get that job you dream of and use the degree you earned. Networking is one of the most important parts of reaching this goal. It can help you build a bridge from academic success to career success.