One of the best ways to explore your options and keep doors open is to talk to other people, otherwise known as networking.
Networking is important as it gives you the chance to talk to people and learn from their experience or who may be in similar situations to you. The definition of networking is to interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts, and there are different types:
- Professional: school, college, and work events or maybe through external training opportunities or conferences
- Social: such as the business-focused social network LinkedIn or specialist online communities
- Informal: such as people you meet through sports / hobbies, weddings, or your neighbours
Online networking sites such as LinkedIn are a great way to find advice, find a job, research into a particular sector, and build your circle of contacts.
Face-to-face networking events can be daunting at first, but with a little preparation they can be a really great way to make connections that could help your career.
Our 10 tips for successful networking
Watch this short animation to think about how you'll approach your next networking opportunity.
Another thing to consider is that your network will change over time. The people you know today may not be the people you need tomorrow. When you move on from a job or a team, try to keep in touch and keep these people part of your network, you may come to rely on them in the future.