The Importance Of Networking In Any Field & How To Do It Right

I consider myself to be a rather social person. I do not mind striking up a random conversation with the girl next to me in yoga or complimenting another person on their shoes. It was not until I was in college that I realized my communication skills are not only handy when speaking to professors, being involved in organizations or in the workforce, but also in every single context. Communication leads to connections and connections enable us to move forward with our personal and work goals. Meeting new people may lead to a new opportunity or even a new perspective. Communication and networking essentially go hand in hand. To network properly and efficiently, you need to be on your A game, you need to be sociable and you need to be coherent and personable. I always saw networking as a concept used highly with business and communication majors. But boy, was I wrong.

In the last three years, I have witnessed my roommate network the life out of every job fair on campus, at every consulting and tax organization and with the heads of some of the most competitive companies. This all paid off for her and I was always impressed by this. But in reality, I was doing my own networking without even realizing it. Every summer internship I had at a doctor’s office was given to me through communication and networking. I had the opportunity to shadow a Physician's Assistant because I asked my mom’s friends if they knew anyone who needed an extra hand in the clinic. My internship with an endocrinologist came from asking friends if they could get me in contact with a doctor. Even my research lab position was obtained when the Principal Investigator introduced me the team who was starting a new project. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you portray yourself in the professional world and how well you can discuss topics and segue in conversation.

Now, how do you start that conversation and make that initial interaction? Be presentable and keep up a strong reputation. For example, I always mention my desire to enter the medical field, my reasons for it, and why this networking relationship would be beneficial for me and the other person. Also, the friendships you make and the relationships you establish can one day benefit you. Keep those people close to you because you never know what they may offer in the future or how you can build your social or professional path from that. Overall, do not stray from meeting new people because it can help connect you to people no matter where you go in the world or what you do with your life.