Most college students are taught one thing that can make or break your success: Networking. “It’s not so much who you know, but what you know. Especially today, as people are encouraged to be multifaceted, knowing people who can make it easier for you to get a foot in the door makes all the difference when you’re just starting out. Below are three reasons why networking is crucial for your success:
- Gives you an opportunity to Learn (and Teach)
Connecting with other people in your field gives you a chance to build on what you already know. It also puts you in contact with people with more experience in your field who can teach you what you don’t know. Making a good impression with these people and showing that you’re genuinely trying to learn and do your best versus solely getting close to who you think can get you the best opportunities will take you much farther. Finding a mentor allows someone who has already been where you are to impart life and career lessons onto you. Also, developing professional relationships with your peers gives you a handful of people to keep in your back pocket for when you all have established careers.
- Gets rid of the idea that only one of you has to be successful
Establishing and building genuine connections with other people while you’re all in the beginning stages of your careers can allow you to eliminate the competitive nature that pursuing a successful career can provoke. Since many of your peers will be at an equal skill level, make more of an effort to showcase what makes you stand out among your peers rather than thinking that you have to “beat” them at something. It is much more positive and healthy way to go about networking and pursuing your goals. You should want the most success for yourself, but don’t be apprehensive about wanting your peers to succeed as well. Collaborating with other people can also be a great way to learn and combine your passions to capitalize on our strong suits.
- Builds more meaningful relationships based on your passion
I think that when we connect with others based on what we’re passionate about can broaden the kinds of relationships we prioritize and can help us with our goals in the long run. Try to avoid thinking that you have to do everything yourself to get where you want to be. A well-known saying is that “It takes a village.” People with experience in something that you may be missing, or even just in life, can offer a new perspective on what you’re trying to do and increase the value in your relationship and life overall. These relationships can also exist outside of a professional one and can offer a healthy distraction from your work.