You Are Only As Strong As Your Network

By Kwynn Riley

As a recent college graduate, I was prepared for a lot. I learned the pythagorean theorem, editing papers, the history of 18th century furniture but not the true power of networking. I spent most of my time working on homework and not getting to know people in the field that I want to work in or people that could help me advance in other areas. Networking is a “major key”. You are only as strong as your network. You know that phrase “birds of a feather, flock together”? Well if you wanna fly, you better surround yourself with people who have wings.

I wouldn’t have the job I have now without networking. According to Linkedin, 85% of jobs are filled because of networking. There is truly power in who you know and who you associate yourself with. Your closest friends could know people that could get you the job you want!  There are three types of networking “name dropping”, “companion” or “referral”.

My first lesson of network was “name dropping”. I was a intern at a communications firm. My boss has “clout” in the PR world, she is the president emeritus of the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS). When we attended events, I met Rev Jesse Jackson, ABC 7 reporter Terrell Brown and many others! Moreover when I attended events and “name dropped” Wynona Redmond my credibility and attraction as a employee increased.

The second type of networking, “companion” is how I got my job currently. The job that I have now was not a job that many even knew was available. My friend passed my resume on to her boss and dropped a good word. For those who are entrepreneurs, think about where your friends work and what services they can provide. What you can do that can benefit them?

Finally you have “referral”. This is the networking we all know. We all exchange business cards with people we know who is working in the industry we would like to move into. Theses people are who can pass on our information to their bosses for a potential employment.

In conclusion, get to networking!

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