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Networking Q&A - What Is Networking?



Question: This may be a dumb question, what is networking and why should I care?


Answer: Not a dumb question at all – it is important that we agree on the definition of networking first. According to Dictionary.com, network, when used as a verb without object, means “to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position.” Some call it informational interview. Personally, I like to define it as “result-oriented professional relationship-building” because it paints a picture of networking by negation:

  1. Result-oriented means that casual chatting with no purpose is NOT networking;

  2. It has to be within the professional context, therefore asking a girl/guy out on a date is NOT networking;

  3. Relationship-building implies that it is NOT a one-off transaction but rather long-term in nature.

Now that we have a basic idea of what networking is. Let us talk about why anyone, job seekers, in particular, should regularly network. Below is a list of networking benefits:

  • Get career advice and insights from experienced professionals from industries you are interested in

  • Acquire knowledge of specific sectors, companies, teams and positions

  • Expand your professional network

  • Improve your communication and interview skills

  • Get introduced to other professionals and opportunities