Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Networking: What it Really is and Why it Matters

Networking is an intimidating beast - what is it exactly and why do we do it? Most importantly, what does networking really mean? This blog post will hopefully answer some of these questions, as networking means something different for each individual.

Networking in its most basic definition is making professional connections. These connections can be made by meeting new people and developing professional relationships with those you already know. You can network through your education, via your classmates, professors, teaching assistants, and other faculty. You can also network through employers, via your employees, your supervisors, and through liaison with other organizations.

There are also events designed specifically to network, where professionals from a field or industry all gather to make connections.

Networking is much more than just making professional connections, however. Aside from the professional aspect of networking, it is making a friend or acquaintance in your personal network. It is promoting your brand (who you are as a person), rather than making connections. Networking ensures that you are, as a person, a part of the whole. I like to follow a quote, that puts it in perspective as to why we network:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." ~ John Donne (1572-1631)

Its benefits are numerous and impossible to list off without having the world's longest blog post, but here are a few important benefits to networking:
- becoming more known in your industry
- future work prospects
- friendships with a professional bridge
- free advertising for your company, product, and most importantly your brand
- growing a list of professional connections in your industry
- gaining knowledge and different perspectives in your industry
- opportunity to access the hidden job market
- mentoring opportunities (opportunity to be mentored or to mentor)
- practice in socializing
- professional development opportunities

... and so much more.

I encourage you to read fellow CA Becky White's post on creating your own personal brand (click here).

Anthony Mancuso
Honours Bachelor of Sport Management - Year 3
Senior Career Assistant 

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