Most vacancies never make it to newspapers or the internet. They are filled in a very traditional way. Through the connections between people. By networking, you open up the possibility to find your dream job via your connections. I know now that my notion of networking was incorrect all along. And I’ve learned that there’s a huge number of students with the same misconception about networking. Does your image of networking match the description in the paragraph below? Then it’s time to change that.
Networking describes the forced and slightly awkward conversations at business conventions. Networking is desperately taking a shot when, for a moment, that one important person has no one to talk to. And networking is trying to come across as smart and ‘fun’, followed by an exchange of business cards, hoping for the chance of a lifetime.
Without knowing it, you’ve already started networking. Networking can be defined as nothing else than communicating with others. By doing so, people will learn what your talents are, and what you’d like to do in the future. Networking is giving a clear explanation of who you are.
Make sure that you’re able to put your talents and career hopes for the future into words. You probably won’t be able to come up with a proper summary of these things during a conversation. It’s something that you will have to think about right now, and that you’ll use in conversations later on. Within your field of study, you’re most likely able to describe these things using jargon. Outside that field of study, that jargon is meaningless. You’ll have to use a different wording when talking to an acquaintance, which is the hardest part.
That conversation with an acquaintance is a greating starting point. Networking is drinking coffee and having a great conversation about the future. It’s about grabbing your chance when it’s there. You’ll be amazed by the number of valuable connections that your family, friends, and acquaintances have. They might just lead you to something great.
You’re contacts are of great value because they could be the bridge between you and someone that is able to offer you your dream job. Of course, you could just call an interesting company and introduce yourself, but making good use of your contacts will leave you with a far greater chance of success. Ask your acquaintance to make a request. You’re interested in having a chat with a specific person from that interesting company, beause you’d like to know more about what he or she does. That person is more willing to say ‘yes’ when the request is made by someone he or she knows.
A network conversation should always be based on the hope to get to know each other, to converse about your shared interest, and to explain what your skills and talents are. It’s never a job interview. It’s a conversation that will make the right people think of you when they’re in need of a new employee. Perhaps we shouldn’t call this networking, because it’s high time to let go of the negative associations.
Vera Heininga is the Open Science coordinator and future programme leader of the upcoming Open Science programme of the University of Groningen. Together with her colleagues, she created the Open Science Community Groningen (OSCG). She explains...
Four and a half years ago, he received the Nobel Prize. During the award ceremony in Stockholm, Ben Feringa made a resolution: I will put science on the map. His mission is being given a new boost with the establishment of the Ben Feringa Fund,...
Older people with memory problems who live at home are extraordinarily resourceful when it comes to staying in control of their activities outside the home. Demographers Jodi Sturge and Mirjam Klaassens are certainly impressed. ‘It’s not about...
The UG website uses functional and anonymous analytics cookies. Please answer the question of whether or not you want to accept other cookies (such as tracking cookies).
If no choice is made, only basic cookies will be stored. More information