Networking has become an integral contributor to success in career and business. It is even more critical for postgraduate students who are not just building on their careers but also seeking opportunities to advance their experience and expertise. So, just how is networking important during your postgraduate studies?
Open Doors to Employment Opportunities
As a postgraduate student, everyone you meet in your lecture theatre could be the person who will help you climb a few rungs up your career ladder. However, networking should not just be limited to your fellow postgraduate students. It can involve the people you meet on vacation, at your workplace, in conferences, or in any situation that brings you in contact with other people you’ve never met.
These networks later become invaluable when you are looking for opportunities to advance your career. This is because many corporate recruitment schemes turn to such networks for employment. To put it simply, employers – especially in the private sector – are recruiting through networks and referrals. Therefore, a postgrad student who is well networked becomes highly employable after completion of their postgraduate studies.
Understanding the Demands of Your Field of Study
Apart from giving you knocking rights to the doors of prospective employers, networking during your postgraduate studies opens your eyes to the dynamics in your field. This could be in terms of the high-value competencies that you may need to sharpen in order to boost your prospects. Not to mention the fact that the interactions that you have within your networks may make you realise that you need to take your career to a different direction.
Develop Soft Skills
Networking will also give you an incentive to sharpen the soft skills that will in turn help you to connect with people easily and express yourself in ways that do not result in misunderstandings. You will have to develop soft skills such as confidence, listening, curiosity, authenticity, and humility, which will help you position yourself to be interesting to others as well as draw others’ interest to you.
Helps You Become a Connecting Node in the Network
As a postgraduate student, developing networks is not just meant to help you satisfy your career needs. You will build your relationship with others without necessarily wanting to get something out of them. You will also share your knowledge and help to connect others to opportunities for jobs or workshops. In this way, you also become valuable as someone who helps others to make connections, and they will reciprocate, especially when they have opportunities to share with you.
The Bottom Line
Acquiring your postgraduate degree definitely elevates the level of your academic achievement. However, it does not guarantee you to get the employment opportunities in your field. Networking will help you add value to your career through investing in others in terms of sharing your connections and expertise and having people to turn to when pursuing growth opportunities. This will ease any transitions that you may need to make in your career in pursuit of available better opportunities.