Learn the importance of a strong professional network and how you can begin creating one. In this video, learn about the benefits of having a professional network.
- [Instructor] Connecting with other professionals and creating a solid professional network is one of the most empowering things that you can do. A strong professional network can help to provide insight and advice, knowledge and the exchange of ideas, collaboration opportunities, access to resources, and often it will open the door to job opportunities. It also provides you with a great opportunity to help others. According to the 2017 Global Talent Trends, two of the most popular ways that companies find new hires are through employee referrals and social professional networks. I want to repeat that, two of the most popular ways that companies find new hires are through employee referrals and social professional networks. Many companies are using these two powerful resources when trying to find new hires, that is, candidates recommended by their own employees and through social professional networks where they already have familiarity with the candidate. Having a strong professional network has always been important, but in the digital age it is arguably more important and it's easier than ever to build a strong professional network. Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as others, allow you to connect and collaborate with like-minded people who work in your industry, share your passion and goals, and have the potential to introduce you to job opportunities. If you don't already have a strong professional network, I highly suggest that you start building one. The following are some recommendations on how to start building a professional network. Now, when I say building a professional network, I don't mean that you should start connecting with anyone and everyone that you can. In fact, this would likely be a bad move. You want to develop a selective group of connections that you can maintain communication with. Consider connecting with the following three types of people to build your network, the advocate, the strategic in, and the subject matter expert. Let's take a look at each of these. The advocate. This is usually somebody that you know on a personal level. They can act as a trusted sounding board for advice and ideas. And they're usually a friend, a classmate, or a family member. Next is the strategic in. Someone who's well connected. Someone who demonstrates a willingness to make connections on your behalf, meaning that it's usually someone you know on a professional level. And it's usually someone like a professor, an internship advisor, a former boss, or perhaps a fellow alumni. And finally, there's the subject matter expert. Someone who offers superior insight on a specific industry. They can give an unbiased opinion. And it's usually people in a similar industry with a similar job or similar goals. Now I want to emphasize something that's extremely important. When creating a professional network, it isn't all about you. If you want to nurture a successful professional network, it must be built on win-win relationships. Be willing to give as much as you get, share advice, share articles, provide feedback, and interact with your professional network. Use a site like LinkedIn to search for people you know and connect with them. Search for people who have job titles that you aspire to have and connect with them. You'll find that if you take the time to build and nurture a strong professional network, you'll be more informed and updated than you've ever been before, and my guess is that over time, you'll see more and more opportunities coming your way.