Networks are getting increasingly important in job hunting and working life so it’s smart to form and grow one’s networks already during the studies. But how does networking happen? Do all the students have to be phenomenal jacks-of-all-trades or barflies to form networks with everyone and everywhere?
A simple answer to the question: No, they don’t. Actually, being oneself – just the way one is – is all that is needed. All students can form networks by being themselves and doing it in their own way. Nevertheless, one has to be active because networking doesn’t happen by itself. We have listed a few tips and thoughts to support networking and we hope that you pick the ones that feel the most comfortable for you.
1. Recognize your networks
When you look around you may notice that your current network is actually bigger than you thought. Your network may include e.g. friends from your past and present studies, colleagues or people you have met in your hobbies or in association activities, for example. Family members and other relatives are a part of your network, too. It’s not smart to underestimate any contact you have. (Working) life is full of unexpected turns and surprising acquaintances may be a big help in different situations.
2. Projects, internships and final thesis places
It is worth being open to all opportunities during your studies. Participating projects or internships that companies offer guarantee that you get to know new people. They are of significance when it comes to your network. You can create new contacts particularly in your final thesis places which are an excellent gateway to working life. Remember, however, to take care of yourself and your well-being. It’s not worth saying yes to everything. Define what you want from your future and participate projects etc. that take you closer to your goals.
3. Company excursions and events
An easy way to network with companies is to participate company excursions and events during your studies. Guilds, career services and some courses offer these opportunities and it is more than recommended to attend them. LUT & LAB Career Services arrange, for example, a virtual recruiting event DuuniDay 26.1.2021. Check further information in the DuuniDay event at JobTeaser and join in!
4. The power of social media
LinkedIn, for example, is an excellent tool for networking and it is also a platform where you can easily collect and save all your contacts. Many other social media platforms can also help networking, but it is worth considering where to put your effort on. Choose platforms that feel natural for you and use media that promote your professional know-how the best. If you need help with polishing your LinkedIn profile, you can turn to Moodle’s Find Your Career platform, offered by the Career Services.
5. Organizational activities
Many students feel that being an active member of student organizations is a natural and easy way to create and grow one’s network. When participating organizational activities, one also learns skills that are very useful later in the working life. So, have you already explored the activities of LTKY and guilds?
Remember that networking is never a one-way street. You can rely on the support of your own network in job hunting, for example, but at the same time you have to be ready to help people in your network whenever they need you.
Could one of your new year’s resolutions be a promise to grow your network, at least a bit? No one has to reach for the stars – small steps are just fine. You can start by attending the virtual DuuniDay, for example. Remember that LUT & LAB Career Services help you not only with networking, but also with other matters related to your career and job hunting. You can find all our services at JobTeaser. You are more than welcome to join in!
Wishing you a happy new year,