What is Career Networking

Pointers to Understand What the Term 'Career Networking' Means

What is career networking? How does it work? How to be successful at networking? Read on to find the answers...
If you have been a working professional for a few years now, who has the experience of working in a number of companies, you would know that many organizations do not advertise for job openings in newspapers, Internet or any other source. So, if someone is looking for a job change and posts his resume only in the companies who advertise, this means that he might be actually missing out on a job of his choice, cause that job is not advertised! This is where career networking comes in place. In short, it refers to building a network of people, who keep you informed about the happenings in the corporate world, including the job market.
How Does Career Networking Work?
Definition...
As mentioned earlier, career networking is all about keeping in touch with your old colleagues, present colleagues, acquaintances, friends, past employers, your college/university alumni, or any other person you might have come across while working, so that when you have a need, such as finding a new job or getting an appointment with a possible client or clinching a particular deal, you can actually use these contacts to your advantage. In other words, you are using all these people in order to further and develop your career! However, in order to be successful at it, a person needs to be very subtle and should never give an impression to his contacts that he is using them. Next, let's see, what are some good ways to network with people.
The Start...
Students may use this skill to get recommendations from teachers so that they can get admission to a good college or university. Thereafter, whoever they meet at college or while working later on in life, can be a source of networking, starting from one's family members and friends. Even if the one who is your contact might not be able to help you, yet he can always refer you to some useful source. That's why, when building a network, never underestimate someone's usefulness!
The Process...
Staying in touch, on a regular basis, is very important for career networking. Calling up the people, whom you think can help you in your career, not only when you need them, but also on some special occasions such as birthdays or to wish Christmas, is a good way to give the impression that you think of them as friends. Another way to build a network and make some good contacts is by joining a business association or a trade organization. You can meet up with a lot of people in your field when such associations have a meeting and exchange numbers/business cards with them. Remember, as career networking is something mutual i.e. it works both ways, you would need to provide help or assistance to your contacts, whenever you can, in order to avail the same from them!
Internet Shows The New Way...
Internet has opened a whole new world of networking to people. There are social networking sites which allow people to form groups of colleges, universities, organizations, etc. one was involved within the past or is at present. So, if your college or any past organization has a group, join it and stay in touch with the people. There are also websites, such as LinkedIn which display your educational past and work experience and help you connect with other professionals and some possible employers too!
Career networking is an ongoing process. You can not stop being in touch, just because you are in a secure job. You have to invest time in your contacts and stay in touch so that when you need them, you have them right in place! If you are able to master this art, there are no two ways that it will make your professional life smooth and successful!