Antionette Minor- theyoungprofessionalist is a "Blogger, Speaker, Girl Boss" who is impacting the young professional world in a big way! It is our pleasure to have her Guest Blog featured below! Visit theyoungprofessionalist.com for more!
"As the first in my family to attend a traditional four year university there were plenty of things I wish I had of known when I went to college. The one thing I really wish I had of been told to do is network with my peers. If someone had of told me just how important this was while my career was just beginning then I believe my life may have been completely different.
The scene was perfect. I lived on campus and worked part time so that meant I wasn't far from the action so why didn't I take the time to get to know people? I'll tell you. Not only did I not know that getting to know everyone would be beneficial but deep down inside I was also a bit on the shy side.
What I didn’t realize is that I should have taken this time to get over my shyness because it didn’t get any easier as I got older. In college you’re allowed to make mistakes and learn without being judged because everyone around you is doing the exact same thing. I also created a barrier for myself instead of creating a network. Here’s why.
In college all of your classmates are learning skills, tips and tricks to do well in their professional lives. What you don’t realize is that when you all graduate it’s like crabs in a barrel and every one is trying to get out. Eventually that one crab gets out. It helps the next crab out and then that crab returns the favor to another. They link on to each other. Some don’t and have to fight the battle alone which is what happened to me.
It took two years after graduation to land my first full time job in the corporate world! My lack of connections made the process much harder than expected. Had I networked maybe a coworker in a similar industry could have given me a referral for a job or even referred me to a another person they knew who had a job opening. Reality is that most jobs are not secured through traditional online applications and resumes. Most jobs are filled by referrals.
Networking goes much deeper than landing a job but it could also be used to land business deals no matter what your profession is. For example, a friend of mine invited her college friends to speak to her school students for college day. She relied on her network to make an experience for her classroom and the school overall.
You never know who you might need in the future and that’s why I suggest meeting as many people as you can. It’s a two way street. Your network will help you and you’ll help them. It’s like one big pot of success to help each other reach the top. Keep in touch with them, gain friends, build relationships and you’ll never want for anything when your network has your back."