Professional Perspective: What you know vs. Who you know

How about some more Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics?

aZain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd. is back with more of his professional perspective. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

Today’s question is:

Why should students and new graduates consider networking as they prepare to enter the world of work?

networkingZain’s Professional Perspective

Is networking important? Will it help me in landing a job? Shouldn’t I just apply for the jobs?

These are some of the questions that I hear when it comes to networking. I strongly believe that networking is a crucial step in succeeding in your career in any industry. Just don’t confuse networking with a quick-fix pill that will solve all your job searching challenges in one snap.

Networking typically does not cost a lot of money, but it does cost time and effort to build the human connection that is vital to networking your way to a job. Being at the right networking events, you can help you form relationships with people who can help you land your next job.

Networking has so many more benefits than just securing a job:

1. Friendship goals

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” We all like to give advice, and sometimes require a little ourselves. Books can teach you a lot, but an experienced friend, colleague, and mentor can help you navigate the many surprises that your career has to offer! Having a great network can equip you with strategies and supports that you need to manage your job search process.

2. Opportunities

Sometimes, through networking, you can land monetary benefits like a job, joint ventures, client leads, and partnerships to a start-up. Who knows, you could be the next Steve Jobs and start a business from your garage, or you may be the most wanted asset to an organization! Don’t hesitate to show where you stand and what you bring to the table at networking events.

3. Becoming known

Getting noticed is a huge benefit of networking. Attending networking events will certainly help others to take interest in you and this may present opportunities or customer referrals that can set you up for long term success.

4. Positive influence

“Birds of the same feather flock together.” You are who you hang out with. At networking events, you may get positively influenced to do something great. Or, people may get influenced by your ideologies that can launch the next big thing… you!

5. The 2 Cs

Not everyone is able to stand in front of hundreds of people and give a speech. Those who can are either natural public speakers or have devoted countless hours to practicing the art of public speaking. Attending networking events can help you build the 2 Cs – confidence and character. Believe me when I say, I had stage fright, too! But Toastmasters, charity events, networking events, and best man speeches helped me overcome this fear and allowed me to speak confidently in front of a huge crowd! No matter the size, I can now woo the audience with my speech!

Often, it is what you know and who you know that help you land a great career. Not just one of them.


For more information on networking, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Want to read more professional perspectives? Check out past editions here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

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