Networking During Your Postgraduate Study
Humans are social creatures, thus explains why networking is an essential skill in our daily life. We exchange information, collect resources and maintain our reputation by staying connected to everyone and everything around us. In this article, you’ll find why being well-connected all-around – be it with the highly regarded key personnel of a certain field or your fun-loving course mates – will reward you in ways that might have never crossed your mind.
What is it with networking?
Benefits, obviously! Making the effort of connecting with people comes with lots and lots of benefits. We’ve listed the most apparent ones here:
Higher chance of employment
The truth is, almost 80% of jobs available in the market are not published or advertised. Instead, they use the power of word-of-mouth to find the right candidates for the posts. Securing good connections with the right people could lead you into the start of the career that you want.
Developing social skills
You will have to develop soft skills such as confidence, listening, curiosity, authenticity, and humility as you strive to create a wider network around you. Having these skills will make you become more interesting and unique as a professional, and help to attract people towards you.
As you are expanding your own network, you can also become a main start to someone’s networking by connecting them to the right crowd they need. This will benefit not just the person you’re helping, but you as well as your network will become more varied and wider. Who knows when the favour will return full circle, right?
How to start networking?
Networking and making connections are important, yes. Yet while mingling with new people might come easy for some people, others are having a hard time to do the same. So what can you do to set things into motion?
If face-to-face interaction is too heavy of a start for you, then why not use the pre-made platforms you’re familiar with – the internet. Social media is a great place to start your networking, as long as you know what you’re using it for. Start curating your content to get the right audience you are aiming for. Remember, not just LinkedIn – you can be professional on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Go out and have fun!
It is usually easier for you to meet with big players of the industry in volunteer programmes, charity events and other casual gatherings because hey, they also want to have fun! Once you’re there, don’t ask them ‘what do you do?’, instead ask them about their interests and see if you guys have anything in common. Once you have established the connection, everything will flow naturally.
Start closer to home (or campus)!
Start with building good relationships with your lecturers as well as your classmates. Find out if any of them are related to the key people of the industry you’re interested in, and ask them politely if they could introduce you to said people. Maintain the relationships even after graduation as they might become the key people you might know one day.
Postgraduate study is not just a classroom-bound affair – it is a whole new pathway in life with a series of mini-trials that, if dealt with logic, patience and a spoonful of creativity, will reward you handsomely at the end of your journey. Never be afraid to utilise your networking skill to navigate through your study years as it will definitely lead you into a satisfying career and life that exceeds your expectations.