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Many career counsellors and experts believe networking is the single most effective method of increasing your potential for a fast career growth.

Networking is not restricted to meeting strangers; it is also strongly inclusive of engaging with the people you already know and learning what you can from them. It is focused on having a purpose for your interaction with others regarding career growth issues.

If you want to network your way to a great career here are some salient points you should note;

1. NETWORKING DOES NOT MEAN MEETING PEOPLE AND ASKING THEM FOR A JOB
If you ever think networking means telling everybody you meet that you need a job youwill definitely piss off so many people. It is rather an ongoing process of relationship building that may open up job opportunities for you. To make networking work for you you first have to be of value to the person you are meeting. An influential contact you have will not hesitate to recommend you for a job if she is convinced that you possess the right qualities.

2. ATTEND THE RIGHT EVENTS, WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
While you may do some useful networking online, nothing beats the old tested way of building relationships with others via face to face interactions. Where possible try to attend industry events where you are likely to meet people who will encourage you, build you up and give you access to useful career information.

3. REACH OUT TO NEW CONTACTS TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND ASK THEM IF THEY HAVE TIME TO TALK WITH YOU ABOUT THEIR CAREER PATH

4. ASK FOR ADVICE. DON’T ASK FOR A JOB. THEY WILL KNOW YOU ARE LOOKING AND IF THEY CAN AND WANT TO HELP IN THIS WAY, THEY WILL.

5. ASK IF THEY KNOW ANYONE ELSE YOU CAN CONTACT

6. FOLLOW UP. FOLLOW THEIR ADVICE. SEND A THANK YOU LETTER. KEEP IN TOUCH

source: as.cornell.edu

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