Networking Essentials: Expanding Your Network

Who with?

Consider the untapped value through making deeper connections with those around you. Reflect on the opportunities and learning that will arise from making connections with a wider audience of people.  Especially through engaging with individuals outside your usual circles and comfort zone. For example, your parents’ friends, mentors, university lecturers, colleagues, and peers. Also not forgetting the digital space —LinkedIn offers a perfect platform for networking and learning, but it requires an understanding of warm and cold connections.

How to do it?

Unlocking the art of networking begins with cultivating a curious mindset. Showing genuine interest with those around you, and working to build your confidence to pave the way for meaningful conversations—even when venturing into unfamiliar territory. Investing in this confidence will not only enhance your networking skills but also set the stage for acing future interviews. As you engage in networking, you'll find that topics once deemed uninteresting or daunting become intriguing, feeding the growth of your curiosity."

What are the Benefits?

Connecting opens doors. Much like the common marketing tactic of 'warm connections' in launching new businesses within trusted circles, networking plays a similar role in career advancement. When seeking a new career path, you are marketing yourself, and it’s easier to begin within your 'warm circles' of familiarity. This gradual progression prepares you for interactions with 'cold connections'—strangers / people you do not know or have any connection with (such as employers) who hold valuable opportunities. These encounters can be nerve-wracking, taking you out of your comfort zone. However, by honing your skills within your trusted networks first, and learning along the way, you significantly enhance your chances of success when it matters – during an interview.