Networking For College Students And Grads Top 7 Steps You Can Take Now

Networking For College Students And Grads Top 7 Steps You Can Take Now

If you had to​ grow your own food, would you wait until you were hungry to​ plant your seeds?

Most certainly you would not! Why? Because of​ the​ laws of​ nature. When you plant seeds, you have to​ nurture them and​ wait for​ them to​ grow. There is​ nothing humanly possible that you can do to​ accelerate the​ process. You water them, make sure the​ soil is​ rich, and​ allow time and​ nature to​ do the​ rest.

So why are you waiting to​ plant the​ seeds that can positively affect your career and​ the​ rest of​ your life? if​ you want to​ build a​ strong, integrated network of​ contacts and​ friends, you must begin “planting the​ seeds of​ your career” now. if​ you wait until you’re hungry to​ start planting those seeds, then you’ll starve before the​ seeds mature.

As simple as​ it​ may sound, networking can be a​ painfully frustrating effort—especially when your goal is​ to​ find immediate employment. Tasks such as​ building contacts or​ collecting names and​ phone numbers theoretically take only a​ few simple steps. But building relationships requires more than passing and​ collecting business cards. it​ isn’t the​ occasional phone call, the​ holiday greeting card, or​ remembering names of​ family members you’ve never met. You cannot possibly build as​ many deep, lasting relationships in​ your life, as​ you may be able to​ cram names into your address book. Yet one good friend is​ often worth more than dozens of​ names of​ people whom you barely know and​ have little in​ common with.

In essence, I am speaking of​ quality over quantity. It’s an​ old theme, but a​ valid one. it​ may sound overwhelming, but remember your objective. Here are the​ top seven steps you can take today that will have a​ great payoff tomorrow.


Volunteering is​ one of​ the​ most effective ways to​ build relationships with people. it​ runs much deeper than the​ informational interview. Your involvement with an​ organization bonds you to​ other members or​ volunteers within that same organization. By working together to​ reach a​ common goal, you are automatically building relationships. These individuals will be able to​ discover your talents, your values and​ your character. These are things that cannot normally be accomplished through a​ single 30 minute meeting.

2. Intern

This will provide you with an​ excellent opportunity to​ gain hand-on experience in​ your chosen field for​ either credit, for​ a​ nominal salary wage, or, if​ you’re lucky, both. Many national and​ local organizations, especially in​ the​ nonprofit and​ communication areas, have intern programs. There are many books which details thousands of​ these opportunities, including Peterson’s Guide to​ Internships and​ the​ Last Guide to​ Internships You’ll Ever Need, which is​ available for​ free from All you need to​ do to​ receive the​ book is​ to​ register for​ free at​ .

3. Get a​ Part-Time Job

I don’t mean the​ flipping burger type of​ job. You can reap the​ rewards from working in​ an​ environment that you’re planning to​ spend most of​ your career in. it​ is​ also the​ perfect opportunity to​ get to​ know and​ connect with professionals within your chosen field.

4. Adopt a​ Mentor:

No matter where you are in​ your career, it​ is​ always good to​ have a​ mentor. This is​ especially important in​ college, when you’re at​ a​ critical point in​ your career development. By associating yourself with someone already out in​ the​ field, you can learn all kinds of​ insights that you won’t get in​ the​ classroom:

* You can observe the​ person in​ action.
* You can learn how he or​ she developed into the​ position they currently hold. You will hear about the​ pitfalls as​ well as​ the​ victories.
* You can learn of​ the​ various types of​ positions within the​ field you wish to​ enter.
* You can gain a​ clearer direction for​ yourself from your mentor’s guidance in​ academic choices and​ extracurricular activities.
* From your mentor’s connections with other people, he or​ she may be able to​ find new opportunities to​ serve and​ learn.
*The mentor can help you be sure of​ your career choice decision.

5. Get to​ Know Your Teachers

The fact is​ that many of​ the​ professors you have right now can be invaluable sources of​ advice, guidance and​ networking. Teachers and​ professors have associations and​ relationships in​ the​ business world as​ well as​ the​ campus community. However, they don’t go around announcing this extra perk to​ the​ class. in​ fact, they are usually very discreet about their choices. You must go to​ them…on your own! Your assigned academic advisor can be a​ great person to​ start with, especially if​ you feel anxiety about approaching someone else.

6. Join Professional Student Organizations

Many professional and​ volunteer organizations have student chapters, especially on our nation’s larger campuses. if​ no student chapters exist, you can usually apply for​ a​ student membership in​ a​ professional organization at​ a​ reduced rate, and​ thus attend meetings normally held off-campus. What an​ opportunity to​ meet influential people.

7. Think of​ Who Else You Know

Through your intimates and​ family members, you probably already have a​ strong network in​ place. the​ only problem is​ that it​ is​ “asleep.” That is, most of​ the​ people in​ your network may not necessarily see you in​ terms of​ the​ career for​ which you are preparing. Instead, you are to​ them whatever is​ the​ nature of​ your relationship: the​ niece or​ nephew, the​ client, the​ patient, fellow club member, or​ the​ person next door. if​ you have a​ network that is​ a​ “sleep”, you must “wake ‘em up” and​ let them be aware of​ all you can do.

In this short read, I have given you quite a​ bit of​ work to​ do. But remember, you’re investing in​ your future. Every relationship, every deed, every time you go out and​ meet, greet and​ serve the​ needs of​ others, you are planting seeds. Take the​ time to​ nourish these seeds and​ you shall be successful in​ your career and​ in​ life.

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