All through high school, I was told that reaching your goals is all about “who you know and what you know.” Because I was raised on the working-hard-to-get-what-you-deserve concept, I never really understood the “who you know” aspect.
It was not until I started my job hunt that I finally realized how true this really was. If you can’t find someone in the field to get you in, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you know.
So that is when I learned the theory of networking, also known as “your life as a job opportunity.” When I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, this became a very literal concept. Women dressed to a T every day – because you never know who you might meet, see, or talk to that day. This is networking. You always shake hands, introduce yourself properly, and stay in touch. You never know when an opportunity may present itself.
Opportunities are everywhere when you are looking for them. One class, my professor advised us all to join a website called LinkedIn to keep in touch after graduation and to help us find jobs in the future. LinkedIn is a social networking site solely dedicated to enhancing your career. For those who can be a little shy in person, this is the perfect opportunity to find work. What is so great about this site is that it not only keeps you connected to your professors and friends in your corresponding field, but it connects you to their contacts as well. There is also an opportunity to join different groups that are more dedicated to looking for jobs in your specific field.
Graduate Job-Search Engine
Upon graduation, many universities provide their graduates with a job search engine that requires a user name and password for a limited time. This connects students with companies who have hired other graduates from your school, which again gives college graduates an advantage. To learn about these opportunities, you should ask your school counselors.
Friends and Family
This group is usually neglected when looking for a job. Remember that you already have a network of your own filled with opportunities. Your parents are working, and so are some of your friends. If worst comes to worst, you can always see what they know about available openings in their places of work, or even if they know someone who would be willing to help you find a job.
Networking is another way of just being aware of the opportunities around you. Once you realize that there are opportunities in the people you meet, you are one step closer to the career, project, or life opportunity of your dreams.