It is often believed that graduates of Ivy schools like Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge get the best available jobs. If you think this belief is a myth, then a simple Google search of people clinching the top jobs on Wall Street or the techies at Silicon Valley might convince you otherwise. This can partly be attributed to the high rating of the universities and majorly to the strong network of alumni across the world.
The power of your network may determine the extent of one’s level of success in life. While growing up, my dad would say to me “go out and build a network of friends, its an investment with huge rewards”. True to his words, I have benefited immensely from the network of friends I have. The benefit of networking does not necessarily have to be material gain, the value of ideas and knowledge that can be tapped from hordes of people that make a network is beyond measure. And when you learn, you grow.
With the advent of social media, networking has been made a lot easier. However, some people do not make the advantage of the New Media. This is evident from posts, updates and hashtags on different social networks. The vast amount of knowledge available on social media is unquantifiable that it is impossible to keep tabs on every article and blog. Consequently, begin to screen your contacts on social media by networking only with those that add value to you.
As a Human Resources professional, I have read several resignation letters and also conducted quite a number of exit interviews. Some people not only leave their jobs but also destroy the friendship they have built over the years with colleagues. Whatever happened to referrals from former colleagues? This is a mistake often made by some of us.
Self development is always a good way of building your network. When you read wide, you begin to develop critical thinking and your thought processes will improve. If these thoughts are penned down, they will attract a wide coverage with a corresponding growth in network. This way, you will begin to influence others which can lead to you becoming a leader in your field.
There are a host of opportunities to network. Meetings, conferences, coffee shops are avenues to meet people and build a network. Please do share your experiences with networking by commenting below.