Schools have understood the value of having a good address book: the Alumni directory is even an integral part of their communication strategy. But it is not only young people from major training courses who can make useful contacts for the rest of their professional career.
Networking: creating a network of social and professional contacts, in particular by means of the Internet” , according to Larousse. In other words, networking, which is the translation by Quebecers of the word “networking”, is the ability to develop a network via a structured, methodical, in short, professional approach.
To do this, you don’t need to go to job fairs or go to all the events planned to, precisely, network. Especially if it’s to spend the evening with your glass in hand, alone, in your corner. Even if you have the anguish of petit four, it is indeed possible to develop and rely on a network of relatives to take off your career. Explanations.
Identify your network
The professional network is what you make of it. The main mistake young graduates make is to think that their network should be activated at the end of their schooling, when they are worried about their professional future. On the contrary, you have to keep your network active at all times. Either on the Internet, by being active on professional social networks or on Twitter by following and interacting with people who are useful to your efforts, or simply by talking, in “real life”! Indeed, a relevant network is a network that knows your tastes, your wishes.
Develop your relational capital
To expand your circle of knowledge, you have to invest. Club of entrepreneurs, networking evenings, events concerning your chosen field… Do not hesitate to exchange your business card and meet as many people as possible. It’s the same thing on social networks: exchange advice, articles with people who seem interesting to you and/or able to help you in your efforts. You can connect with people directly on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. In short: make yourself known! Either way, your online profile should match your profile in real life. Being authentic and natural is probably the best way to successfully grow your network.
Maintain your network
Want your network to remember you? Nothing’s easier ! If you see an acquaintance landed the job they wanted, congratulate them by sending them a nice note. The end-of-year celebrations are another very good way to keep in touch. In any case, you have to get news regularly and know how to give it: have lunch with former students of your school, ex-trainees who have known the same company as you, etc. But here again, you have to do it with pleasure, without forcing yourself, out of a desire to maintain good relations with the people in your network. For your network to be useful, exchanges should never be one-way.