In short, networking opens doors and creates opportunities that may not
be available without actively networking. Employers often hire a known
person, or a candidate who is known by his or her colleague. Advancement is
sometimes reserved for those who are within a network. Right or wrong, the
most qualified candidate is not always hired. Of coarse, networking does
provide you with additional resources and knowledge.
Sometimes you run into an engineering problem that you have no experience
in dealing with. The larger the network, the greater the data bank of
knowledge you have access to.
How to build your network? Some people rub elbows on the golf course.
Professional societies can provide a vast network if you are active in it.
Keep in touch with former employers and past co-workers. Build a good
relationship with your employer's clients. If you have an engineering
problem, or even if you don't, call the most social engineer you know (or
don't know) and ask about a specific topic. People would much... much...
much rather help you than to listen to how much you know. If he can't
provide an answer, he will surely provide you with a name and number of
someone who can. You have just added 2 valuable people to your network.
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