All About Networking

By Ethan Vo |

You have probably heard a lot about networking. People have probably told you to make sure you expand your network and create professional relationships with as many people as possible. Well, it could be daunting trying to put yourself out there to try and connect with people you only ever talk to about work. As a result, many people leave a lot of potential for growth on the table. So, in this blog we are going to give you the rundown on everything there is to know about networking.

What is Networking

To start, some of you have most likely heard about networking, but are not quite sure on what exactly it is, don’t worry, neither did I when I first heard it. I always thought it was some sort of program on a computer that had to do with the internet connection. Well, needless to say I quickly found out that I was sorely mistaken. Networking is a mutually beneficial interaction between two or more people that involves the exchange of ideas and information that are connected by a common interest, industry, or career. To put in layman’s terms, it is talking and getting to know colleagues. The whole goal of networking is to establish and maintain relationships with other professionals. If done correctly, having a good network can open up a whole new set of doors, allowing you to further your career even faster.

Why is Networking Important

Many people have their network to thank for their position at their job. Over 30% of people looking for a job find their listings through professional connections and especially through referrals. It can even get your application hand delivered to the hiring manager’s desk, giving an upper hand amongst the other prospects. While having a strong network is very helpful in landing a job, it can also be very beneficial in your career development. Once you create a relationship, it is essential to maintain it, this way you can lean on them if you need to. Improving your social well-being, exchanging ideas, meeting people of all professional levels, increasing your confidence, and potentially landing you a great job opportunity are all benefits of networking.

How to start Networking Professionally

  • Attending industry events or job fairs
  • Using LinkedIn
    • LinkedIn is a great tool to utilize to not only help you apply to jobs, but also to connect with others. Through LinkedIn, you can connect with other professionals who work in the field that you have a keen interest in; and you can always reach out to them and set up an informational interview to learn more about the industry and what a typical day at work looks like.
    • Pro Tip: Make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date with any work experience, and also keep an updated photo of yourself.
  • Seeking out mentorship or coaching
    • Building relationships with more experienced professionals, especially in the field that you wish to work in, is ideal for networking and professional development. Having a mentor or a coach can be a valuable way to learn new skills, gain insights into your desired industry, or simply having a connection that you can use in the future.
  • Leveraging social media
    • These days, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, have gotten so popular that you can use them to help build a professional network. Consider sharing your work and engaging with others in the same industry. Also consider following more experienced professionals, this can help you get an idea of what the day-to-day routine is like for someone who works in your desired industry.

Tips for Networking if you are shy

  • Start small!
    • Attend career or job fairs even if you intend on not speaking with anyone. For introverts (like myself), simply showing up and being there can be a huge accomplishment. Even if you don’t intend on speaking with anyone, there’s a good chance someone will approach you and before you know it, you’re networking!
  • Bring a Friend with you
    • Having someone you are comfortable with can help boost your confidence in any social setting. They can also help start the conversation when you’re out networking, giving you a chance to connect with other professionals.
    • Pro Tip: Going to a job fair with a group of friends can be a really fun and productive experience.
  • Focus on the shared interests
    • Talking about what you are deeply interested in can help you be more confident and can make opening up others a lot easier. Try attending career fairs that are oriented around your preferred industry/interests.


There are many different components of a job search that can help you find a job. Experience. Resume. Qualifications. Etc. But one of the best tools you can use is Networking. Networking helps you expand your professional and personal connections through interacting with other professionals and building a network of like-minded individuals. There is a famous quote by Jim Rohn that goes “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”; Networking allows you to build up a group of like-minded and goal-oriented people that will help you achieve your career and personal goals.