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Are you graduating soon and wondering how to understand networking? Here are 5 networking tips for Gen Z in India!
When I was in college, roughly about seven years back, during my lectures, my professor of Public Relations and Communication drilled into us; you must network! Being a 22-year-old with no work experience, I didn’t exactly comprehend the stress on networking from my professor.
After college, when I joined the publishing industry and began working with various professionals in the industry, I understood networking was not simple! It was not complicated, but it definitely was not limited to exchanging name cards and having chit-chat. The primary goal of networking has always been about forming meaningful connections, without the thought about the outcome!
In the last five years, the rules and etiquette of networking have changed, some have blamed Gen Z for killing networking mixers, and some have blamed millennials for killing telephonic conversations reducing everything to email; even making connections.
The truth is, nothing is permanent and human communication evolves with each generation. And networking is not all about career, it can impact your social and personal life for the good! So what new networking tips for Gen Z do I have?
As we, the last members of club millennials, are slowly entering our second decade of employment, and our previous positions are going to be filled by freshly graduated Gen Z, we should look into how networking practices are going to change for the better! And these tips can help you when you are starting!
Yes, it is given, for any professional today having a LinkedIn account is important to create your digital presence. But platforms like LinkedIn and others are not about your putting your qualifications only.
Make that account as soon as you can, and make it a chronicle of your achievements and lessons learned. Don’t turn it into a novel about your life, rather curate it to highlight your best qualities. Follow and connect with people of the profession you want to join, observe and learn!
Then it should be followed by, a reply to the DMs! Unfortunately, you will meet people who make you feel uncomfortable, but many opportunities don’t have because luck was on hour side, but rather we are proactive to grab our opportunity!
My first paid job happened because my senior gave me a heads-up about her planning to quit her job! I had always wanted to be in the publishing industry, and I had no idea how to crack it.
But I reached out to my senior on Facebook, I explained to her about my desire, and she told me how to keep myself updated with the latest publishing world news! And one year later she referred me!
Sometimes all you need is someone to back you up with their credibility. So reach out to the alumna who have jobs in the career of your desire or ask for help; even if you don’t know the person well enough, a polite message can take you a long way.
Now, social media is the most important part of personal branding! If you are part of the content industry, be very careful and strategic about your social media curation.
Follow the people from the industry of your choice, follow companies you would like to work with and see how they build their profiles and represent their companies. Followed by using that inbox to talk to people, many people and companies reply!
Not only that, but they can also guide you on how to partner up or work with them in future. Some people totally rely on Instagram for all their communication. But asking for an email address is always a good idea.
Multiple companies in India rely on volunteers for their events like; conferences, cultural programs, campus events, exhibitions, and even networking events.
One of my close friends works for a cultural museum, where they have exhibitions and cultural programs. For each of these events, he sends out a call for volunteers to local universities and colleges. The students who volunteer get to meet people from different industries and make a connection!
Not only will these extracurricular activities enhance your resume, but you can also always ask the company or institutions you worked for, for a reference letter despite the volunteer certificate!
Yes, college can be a nightmare, you might hate your teachers! But your professors have years of experience in your field. Not only that, they are in connection with their classmates and alumna who are working in higher positions and can help you get an internship or job or offer a mentorship program.
Stay in touch with classmates who are keen on the same industry as you. Some of them might crack into the profession before you, some might start their ventures, or some will just help you with accommodation for a night if you are travelling to a new city!
In the last couple of years I had the fortune to travel to multiple places, and let me tell you as a broke millennial living with her parents, cities like Mumbai and Bangalore can be extremely expensive, if you have kept in touch with people, they will lend you their couch!
These are not hard and fast rules, they will change and evolve with time! The purpose of networking is to make a connection. You can do it over a cup of coffee, via email, by texting or just by meeting someone by chance!
The goal should be, that it is meaningful, and you can both learn and teach the other person as you develop your connection!
Image source: LeoPatrizi via Getty Images, free on CanvaPro
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