Nowadays, having a good network of contacts is a very useful tool in your professional development. The reason for this is clear. Through this network numerous opportunities for internships or jobs may arise and, moreover, within this group you may also find people who will give you a reference.
What is networking? Networking is the creation of a network of professional contacts that may allow you to find a job or an internship. Networking is something that anyone can do; even if you don’t know where to start, you can create a network in less time than you think.
Whether this is because you want to extend your network of contacts, because this has become stagnant or because you don’t actually have any contacts, put into practice our advice in order to achieve new professional contacts:
– Events. Attending conferences or seminars about the sector in which you want to work is a good way of coming into contact with other people who have the same professional interests as you.
– Make the most of your contacts. A good way of getting to know more people is through those that already form part of your network of contacts. They may introduce you to people in their network who may be interested in joining yours.
– Family and friends. We should not overlook those closest to us when making contacts. In parties organised by family members or friends, the meetings of the association of which we are a member or even in your football team or spinning class, you can find new contacts that will greatly help your professional and personal development.
Once the contact has been made, you mustn’t forget to cultivate it and keep in touch since this is the only way of strengthening ties. Being proactive and ready to lend a hand will create mutual trust. But it is equally important to look after your contacts and help extend their networks: networking is based on giving and receiving, something that is important to remember!
However, the quintessential place for networking is Linkedin, since it allows you to widen your network of contacts. This social networking website classifies contacts into three groups:
- People you know directly, known as first-level contacts
- Contacts of your contacts, known as second-level contacts
- Second-degree contacts of your contacts, known as third-level contacts.
To get an idea of the extent of the contacts offered by Linkedin, if, for example, you have 100 contacts and each of your contacts also has 100, in total you will have 10,000 second-level contacts.
Bearing this fact in mind, it is important to find time to keep your profile updated.