Networking: What’s in it for me?

This wasn’t a planned post, but I’m just going to wing it.

When you are at University – or a recent graduate – you get told over and over again about how important networking is. You take it for granted at this age and you think it is something you either:

1) don’t have to do  (because you’ll be fine on your own),

or

2) don’t want to do (because it requires effort on your part).

entrepreneurship-networking-advice-1

But it is so important. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still probably do okay without it, but I guarantee you’ll do better with it. Young people particularly rely too heavily on Linkedin. It’s a great tool, but e-meeting someone is not the same as a face to face conversation.

A personal example from me is a recent Leeds University Alumni event I attended in New York. I was hesitant to go because I thought it would be boring, and surely I have better things to be doing with my evening….

Leeds Big Get Together
Leeds Big Get Together

However I was pleasantly surprised. I met some really interesting people, who were also interested in meeting me (weird -right?!). I didn’t get any jobs offers out of it but I did get some great advice, lunch offers and someone sorted it so that I would get my name on the big screen for my birthday at the baseball – which I think is pretty sweet.

I also know that there are professional people out there, in New York, who would be willing to look over my CV or give me advice just because they met me at this event.

So there. I’m jumping on the networking bandwagon.

Go forth young professionals, and make some contacts.

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