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Why is a Network Important? What is a Network?

Posted on October 8, 2020

70-80% of available jobs are not advertised! This means most jobs are filled by people who are within the hiring manager's network. When I first heard this statistic, I thought, “How am I going to get a job? I am not good at networking. What do I do?”

Fortunately, I already had a network (and so do you)! But, I needed to nurture and grow that network. Before we chat about how to network, let’s take a moment to outline who is in your network.

People you know in-person or are connected to online are your 1st-degree connections, this includes your friends, classmates, co-workers, and family. If you are on LinkedIn, these connections will have a 1st icon next to their name.

Expand your network

To expand your network, you will want to start thinking about your 2nd and 3rd-degree connections, people connected to your 1st (2nd) degree connections. How you can convert them to 1st-degree connections? This video, “20 Ways to Network without Meeting IRL”, has some great ideas for how to interact with distant connections, ranging from low-key likes and comments to more direct emails and messages. Indeed has two articles about networking: the first is geared toward virtual networking during COVID-19 and the second has tips for traditional in-person networking.

If you are on LinkedIn, you can expand your network by joining groups related to your career interests, alma mater, or other topics. Participate in these groups and reach out to active members of these groups using the strategies for the video and articles to make them first-degree connections!

COVID-19 has changed a lot about our day-to-day lives but remember to continue reaching out to the people in your network. Get to know your connections, their goals, and how you can help them. Also, let them know you and your goals.

How can networking help you?

Having a large professional network can help you learn new ideas related to your career; find out about job opportunities, and manage career challenges. This article from Michael Page has a list of 11 benefits of networking.

Tips for Networking

  1. Whenever you meet a new person, connect and interact with them on LinkedIn.
  2. If you are interested in a particular company, begin following their social media presence, comment and reshare their content with your networks.
  3. Build relationships and keep in touch.
  4. Help your network!
These tips are just a start, this article has a list of networking mistakes and what to do instead.


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