Your network is worth its weight in gold

Figuring out how to make the most of your network may be difficult, yet you have to use and expand your network.

We all have networks, and it’s a good idea to make sure to utilize the benefits that may be accessible through those networks. Regarding your working life, it’s important to figure out exactly who in your network might be able to help you get a job, and who you still need to get acquainted with.

Carina Heckscher, an expert in networking, explains that, first of all, you need to map out all the people in your network. “You need to consider your personal as well as your professional network – such as, for instance, your fellow students or colleagues from your student job. Then, you must try to find out whom you might be able to use actively in your network, and who might be missing. Who might be nice to know, when you seek employment? Who might be able to give you advice and counseling? This is what you need to figure out,” according to Carina Heckscher.

Dare you ask for help?
Often, you are able to make better use of the people you already know, than you would have expected. You just need to dare ask for help. Carina Heckscher says that, when asked, most people really want to use their specific expertise to help others.

“So, if you know someone who possesses the job title of your dreams, do not hesitate to ask them for advice and guidance. You might also want to contact people, who are relevant within your field, and ask them if they want to connect on LinkedIn, or make use of the many groups for engineers on the webpage to get to know people. The most important aspect is to initiate contact,” she says.

Set goals for yourself
It’s also important to get out and meet new people, especially when you are looking for a job or have recently graduated. “Lectures or events at your union or other places, which are relevant for your field, are great for networking. You will almost always get a chance to network during breaks or after a lecture,” Carina Heckscher explains.

To ensure success, however, it might be a good idea to set some goals for yourself, as regards the event. “For example, tell yourself that after the event you must have talked to at least two new people. Thus, you’ll get both inspiration from the event and a larger network. Get ready for the event by preparing a few small talk topics beforehand,” she says.