“I hate networking.”

If you have ever uttered these words, you are not alone. In your adventures of career decision making, it is important to never journey alone. Despite the dread most of the population may feel in marketing themselves and their skills, the formation of a network is important for your professional growth. A network is a group of social and work acquaintances who know who you are and what you do or hope to do. It can include people from the most informal of settings to the classrooms, workplaces and formal business environments we often inhabit. Your network ranges from your very own group of friends to business associates you may meet on your journey. Many times, we overlook some of the most accessible persons who could form big parts of our networks and open doors for us as we become more career oriented. The “forgotten persons” include:

  • Classmates/Roommates
  • Former Coworkers
  • Neighbours
  • People from places of worship
  • Coworkers
  • Social friends
  • Social club members
  • Fellow volunteers

However, the level of familiarity among the members of your network and their proximity to you is the least important characteristic of your network. What is important is that:

  • Your network is unique to you.
  • Your network can be expanded to meet your career needs
  • Your network will help you to understand the local career market much better that any resource you can examine in a library.
  • Your network will help you to begin establishing yourself in your chosen career.
  • Your network can be a way of visualizing yourself in your chosen profession.