If you strongly believe that your career is guaranteed because you went to the right school or because you have specific knowledge in a technical field, you’re in for a surprise. Careers aren’t linear anymore: networking for career opportunities is more important than staying the course. Networking has become an essential skill in all walks of life and it abides by 80/20 rule: amateurs will reach 20% of their goals while efficient networkers just might reach 80% of their goals.
Networking like a pro means doing it a few hours a week. Write it down on your agenda and stick to it. This will be crucial in organizing the forthcoming weeks, contacting your network, scheduling appointments, getting updates from your network and offering your assistance to anyone who may need within your network of contacts. Professional Networking also means having a plan: an end-goal for the forthcoming semester and a list of the necessary steps to achieve that goal. To be fair, professional Networking can quickly become time-consuming; but the 2+2+1 rule will help you to buy time.
How? Use lunch time to boost your Networking opportunities by:
- Never eating alone
- Not having lunch with the same people
- Spending one lunch per week with close colleagues (boss, subordinate, that’s the people you usually have lunch with)
- Having lunch with people from another company (clients, suppliers, ex-colleague, journalist…) twice a week
- Having lunch with people from your company but from another service or department (people from another service, a distant colleague)
- Try it and put it use. Test the 2+2+1 rule and just for 4 to 8 weeks: you’ll be amazed at how enriching it’ll prove to be in terms of ideas, contacts, information and more.
So, now, what do you choose? Networking? Or Not Working? Don't hesitate too long.