Networking is about making connections and building relationships. By talking to people who work in certain fields or who are affiliated with schools that you're considering, you can gain knowledge about a particular career field, job type, or graduate school. It's a great way to learn what career paths are possible and what skills are needed in careers of interest, as well as for internship development, strategizing your job search, or post-graduate education planning.
Networking provides an opportunity to gather valuable information in a low-anxiety situation while allowing you to make contacts in your field of interest. Here's how it can help you throughout the career development process:
- EXPLORE CAREER FIELDS to gain insights and information that will help you choose a career and focus your job search.
- FIND JOB LEADS to uncover the "hidden job market", where 70% - 80% of all professional jobs are obtained, while possibly giving you the inside track on interviews.
- BUILD YOUR CAREER by continuing the networking process after you've started your new job or new career in order to enhance your skill base and keep you updated on trends in your field. Finding mentors to support your career growth and taking on active roles within a professional association will benefit you when making career transitions and seeking career advancement.