This week’s assignment was to help a student to think about and start their career development by networking and by using social media, in this case LinkedIn (see Appendix A for an example of my LinkedIn profile). Merriam-Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information of services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business” (2016). One can also think of a network like a computer network, where every communication is connected through one device in the center, with hundreds and thousands and millions of threads of information being passed to each other and being accessible by each other. In the following paragraphs, a description of the role networking can play in ones’ professional life, how am I specifically keeping my “professional brand” consistent across social and professional platforms, and finally, the steps one can take to develop a professional connection with a mentor or career coach.
My career began in 1988, at the age of 17 years old, about 10 days after I graduated from High School. I was on my way to a new city and being the youngest in the family, leaving my parents with no children at home. It has been a career that has been with two companies, one by choice and the other by acquisition. In the years of my career, I have been fortunate enough to have many professional relationships with people whom I considered friends and mentors. I have also had the pleasure of coming from a family with people I considered mentors; as well as, the family of my wife. To list all of the people I consider as a mentor for me would take a lot of typing, as I feel that almost everyone I meet in a p...
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...ul career. Networking is important because you just do not know how the persons you meet will affect your life. It is of absolute importance that one maintains their professional brand, in all situations. The person you are having dinner with, just might be the next person you are interviewing with to get a new job or the next promotion. Having mentors and career coaches in your life is important as well. Being able to discuss your career and questions with someone who has been there and who has proven to be a good leader or good worker, will help a person in their career immensely. Being at work is more than just a job; it requires networking, consistent behavior to establish your professional brand, and people in your life you can look up to as a mentor or career coach. If one does these three things, hopefully, they will have a long and successful career.
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