Networking may seem like a scary concept, but not only can it be fun, it can help your career!
People generally build networks through:
- Immediacy- who is in your life right now?
- Proximity- who do you see frequently?
- Similarity- who in your circle has similar interests?
However, NAU Career Development encourages you to think outside of the box, and look beyond your immediate circle as you build your network.
There are three types of networks:
- Operational– relationships with people at work or school that allow you to get today’s work done efficiently. These are generally working/professional relationships such as supervisors, co-workers, faculty, and tutors/peer mentors.
- Personal– relationships of your choosing and people you like to hang out with informally, such as friends, peers involved in similar activities, and family members.
- Strategic– a blend of your operational and personal networks that help you envision a future career, or get resources you need that might not be available in your current network.
Your networks consist of Strong Ties and Weak Ties. Strong Ties are those that you know well and are often in frequently contact with. Weak Ties are those that you know, but do not yet know well. They might be part of your operational network, or even a part of your personal network. Often, you want to nurture your weak ties to make them into strong ties, and often, part of your strategic network!
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. Create your LinkedIn profile, then build your professional brand, discover opportunities, stay up-to-date on industry news, and explore career paths through the alumni finder.
For more in-depth information, explore the following Career Steps online lessons: