…………… we can all play – thanks to a new development at the Careers Service.
I’ve touched on the art and necessity of networking to research job areas and find relevant people to talk to, in previous blogs, as networking is an essential part of job-hunting and exploration in many areas, including the media and beyond . The need for networking also comes up in many of the conversations I have with students and graduates during the course of my work.
And it’s not just me! Recent grads, talking about how they found their current positions, often stress the importance of networking;
Amy Hawes, a recent PPLS grad now working as a television researcher says:
‘This industry is all about knowing people. I knew absolutely no-one when I started, but through all my endeavours, my short film making and making use of every contact, I eventually got my break’.
And from Rebecca Worrell, a recent PPLS grad now working in the renewables industry after working on the Environmental Placement Programme:
‘(getting involved) gets you networking. You meet people that you probably wouldn’t meet otherwise, and this is the key. From networking you learn a lot. This is how I found out about the Environmental Placement Program.’
However, reaction to the idea of networking to get started, and to develop your career, is often not very positive. Fear of rejection or being seen as ‘phony’, not knowing how to get started, apprehension about ‘bothering’ people, a misbelief that networking = nepotism, or bowling up to people demanding ‘giz a job!’, are amongst the many barriers that students cite which prevent them from engaging in active, useful networking. However, in reality, networking is one of the most important and powerful skills you can use in successful career development and job-hunting.
So, to dispel a few myths about just what networking is, and how you can make it work for you, plus to help you develop your skills in a safe environment, my colleague, Darcey, very ably aided and abetted by one of our engineering students, has come to the rescue with a networking game you can play in your own time. Now, before you start on the ‘real thing’, (or realise that you’ve already started – it really is just about being interested in people and their work, and talking to them!), you can play the game and practice in the privacy of your own environment.
Find out how well you do understand networking. Could you be doing things to find out more about opportunities or to be helpful to other people? Play the Networking Game and find out. Comment below and share your networking insights.