Networking tips to help you become professional
Networking means meeting new people who can help you find a job.
These networking tips can be used to help yourself grow professionally.
Networking is a daunting task for many young refugees and immigrants. But networking is key for professional growth. Anyone who has ever achieved a big goal will tell you that networking helped in one way or another. Seeking out people who share your interests and who have already reached certain professional milestones can be what stands between you and an awesome opportunity. So, take the fear out of networking with these networking tips, and see where it takes you.
If you are an introvert who prefers to stay inside or someone who does not like asking for help, think of networking as a chance to offer your help to others. When you meet new people at an event, think of ways you can support their work. When you approach networking with a service attitude, you will find that it is easier to talk to everyone you meet. It gives the other person a platform to talk about what they do and what they need. It gives you a chance to listen and showcase what you know and how you can use it to support others.
Why is networking so important?
There is a Kirundi proverb that says “Ubugirigiri bugira babiri.” It is a hard one to translate word for word. But what it essentially means is that a task is better done by two. Networking successfully means building a community of people around ourselves who will gladly cheer us along our professional journey. It is your network that will help review your resume when you are ready to apply for jobs. Your network will provide references for you. This is when you have successfully completed interviews at your new favorite company. Someone in your network might even provide a referral for you to his or her own company if you fit a certain opening.
At the same time, being a part of other people’s network positions you to support them. Once you have established what your professional interests are, you will find that you get a lot of opportunities to get to know the people you meet. The more events you attend, the more people you know. And the larger your network, the easier it is to find someone who could use your skills for a project.
How can you find networking opportunities?
Social media can be used for everything nowadays. I recently joined an awesome Facebook group of female immigrants who are pushing boundaries in every profession. The group shares tips and ideas on how to grow as a professional woman. Similar groups exist all over social media. However, LinkedIn is the platform for professionals who seek to connect with one another. You can participate by publishing content, engaging with others on their content, or simply finding people with whom you share professional interests.
So, don’t let fear stop you from building your network. Use social media platforms to engage with others, and seek out professional networking events in your area to help you practice. You will be glad you did.