Improving your networking skills
As an aspiring young engineer or scientist who is at school, attending university or, perhaps, a recent graduate seeking employment, or, indeed successfully emloyed, will find it invaluable to improve upon their nwtworking kills. Networking is a skill that is never directly mentioned on a CV or directly discussed at an interview but can be the key to your success in obtaining that dream job, promotion or securing of business.
In the current economic climate this can be no further from the truth, where many positions are filled by internal recommendations or leads from friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Fundamentally, networking permits a perspective candidate a positive environment to showcase their aspirations, objectives and qualifications; they can also advertise their availability in an informal space where there is more freedom to conceptualise and evaluate, possible career options. However, the key element to networking is the possibility of getting referrals as these increase the size of your network and enhance your chances of success. Remember that you mught not be currently looking to change job but some day you might have to, so it is always a good idea to keep improving your networking skills.
Undoubtedly, networking can be an intimidating process which may cause apprehension, but have no fear because the IOM3 is here to help. The Institute provides many different media platforms where one can improve one's network either face to face or indirectly.
Social media such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and more specifically for professional, LinkedIn have become major tools for improving people's networks over the years. Just recently Facebook was quoting 800,000,000 users alone. The Institute is no stranger to these platforms and has sites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn which provide news and information on current events and open discussions by members from the Institute on a whole range of subjects. Why not log on to these and join in a discussion and make some new online contacts:
However, when it comes to networking , a face to face is the best option. Again the Institute provides many avenues for you to participate in networking. The se include local society events and IOM3 conferences. More importantly the Younger Members' Committee also has networking events targeted at our younger members which include conferences aimed specifically at younger members, a treasure hunt and new to next year a networking event which will be held parallel to Materials Congress 2012. These events will give you an excellent opportunity to network with your peers in a relaxed and informal manner, so go ahead and give it a go. For more information, please see Materials World and the Institute's LinkedIn group website.
For the older members of the Institute that are reading this, at the next local society meeting you attend, please make it a priority to speak to some younger members of the Institute and welcome them. You never know you might improve your network.
Vice Chair & Head of Communications, Younger Members' Committee