Ink & Well was lucky to land our fantastic intern, Ryan Peardon, just as we were getting our business off the ground. Today Ryan shares about how he has found networking to be a key for personal and professional development. A little about Ryan before jumping into the post:
Ryan Peardon is an intern at Ink & Well and is a senior Journalism major at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is also a contributor to ProFootballSpot.com where he is the Team Manager of the Georgia Bulldogs and Coordinator of SEC content.
The Power of Networking
Networking is one of the most important aspects to not only your business but to your life as well. It is literally the fabric of which our lives are made. You’re sitting here, reading this today, because of networking. When you talk with your co-workers or your boss, you’re networking. If you’re a college student going to class, you’re networking. No matter what your daily routine is, if you leave the house and interact with other people, you are networking. Building relationships is what we do as human beings and this art is an invaluable tool that can have a number of benefits to you as you move forward in life. You simply never know who you’re going to meet and you never know what role they could play in your future. The phrase “It’s not what you know it’s who you know” is as true as it gets. Here are 4 ways that networking can have a positive impact on your life.
The first and simplest thing you can gain from building relationships is friendship. Whether in school or at work, before any mutual benefits, partnerships or offers come into play, you simply surround yourself with people that you like and can relate to. This is the most primitive form of networking. You more than likely have plenty of friends right now, but they weren’t always your friends were they? Think about how and when you met them.
This form of networking nearly falls hand-in-hand with friendship, but can vary in a number of ways. A support system doesn’t necessarily define something as a friendship. Maybe you are having a hard time with something or someone, and you spend a majority of your time at work. You don’t necessarily have to be friends with someone at your job to get things off your chest or speak your mind. When you’re around someone for the majority of your day, it doesn’t hurt to develop some kind of relationship.
Taking a different angle to this, building good relationships at work can lead to a different kind of support. Good coworkers and superiors will be there for you if you ever run into a time of need. Things happen in life and when you require support in your personal life, good colleagues will be there for you.
Introducing You to a Job or Career
This is the main thing that comes to mind when you bring up the term networking. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” really pertains here and it’s no secret that knowing the right people can send you in the right direction in life. Knowing somebody at a company is a big boost in your ability to land a job there. Without a personal connection to someone who can deliver your resume directly to a manager or superior, your chances of landing a job are vastly decreased, but not by any means impossible. Not everybody that lands a job has an inside connection, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
This person could be somebody you met in college, a friend of a friend or even a family member. Having a connection shows a potential employer that somebody they know and trust in their business knows and trusts you in their personal lives. This is one of many reasons why it carries so much weight.
We segue right into my next benefit to networking: references. Another requirement of landing a solid job in the professional world is having professional references that can corroborate and reinforce the notion that you are a good worker and the right person for the job. References can come in all shapes and sizes. It can be your college professor, a company you interned for or a boss that you previously worked for. When you network with those around you, you build these types of relationships that can help you pursue the types of things that you’ve always wanted to do.
I couldn’t stress enough the importance of building healthy, positive relationships in every place and time that you possibly can. All benefits aside, one big key to being a good person is to be kind to others. Simply showing kindness can catapult you in the right direction. So network as much as you can. The next person you meet might be one of your best friends or a future employer down the line. Remember, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.