The Importance of Networking

via onlinebusiness.volusion.com

via onlinebusiness.volusion.com

I don’t care how smart you are, what your GPA was or what job you have now. Networking is one of the most important things you can do as a journalist (or any professional job). It’s important for personal and professional growth. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that it allows you to meet new people, create friendships, meet potential coworkers or employers and find job opportunities.

For journalists, it’s all about moving up in the world. I’m always thinking about where my next step is. Do I want to move laterally or do I want to move up? It’s a question I ask myself several times a day. I’m happy where I am, but I really feel you need to have one eye to your future.

College was where you should be honing and changing your skill sets. When you get into the real world, you are on your own. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With networking, you have people at your “fingertips” that can give you insight to what’s going on, what they are hearing and provide much needed advice for all types of situations.

Now, you don’t have to network with entrenched professionals. I have friends, close to my age, at other papers and we keep in touch. It’s nice to be in the loop with what’s going on in this field. You don’t always hear the most encouraging things, but it helps to have more ears to the ground. Plus, having people the same age as you going through the same things you are gives you a person to bounce ideas off of and, primarily, seek advice.

It wasn’t up to my teachers in college to make the most of my college experience. I had to take advantage of their opportunities. And I think I did okay. I try to keep in touch with some of my former teachers as much as possible.

This is all just something to think about. Networking takes a bit of work, but what you get out of it could help you more than you think.

Jonathan

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