Everyone is constantly stressing the importance of networking when it comes to finding a job or advancing a career, but how do you know where to start? Who you should talk to and what should you talk about? Where do you go?
Networking is not something that is taught in the classroom, and for many Generation Xers and baby boomers, it’s not something that they had to do early in their careers. But in today’s competitive workforce, it’s all about who you know. So, what is networking and why do so many find it so intimidating?
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”
Networking is about forming and maintaining relationships. Most people say they rarely engage in networking, however, if you’ve ever had a job, attended school, volunteered or attended industry events, you’ve networked. Unless you sit in your home day after day, never interacting with a single person--including friends and family--you have networked.
But it’s important to become an effective networker, which starts with...