Everyone envisions their future and likes to imagine themselves as successful and at the peak of their careers. There are people who dream and then there are people who go out and work hard to fulfill their dreams.

One way that people ensure that their futures are bright and that they have a successful career, is by networking. Networking is vital in making connections and getting to know the right people who will enhance your career. You get advice, support and help from people who are pioneers in the industry. It helps you gain an advantage by finding out new opportunities that others might not know about, and that would be vital in your progress. In a world that thrives on ensuring you’re one step ahead, networking will keep you up to pace and prevents you from falling behind.

University is where you’d begin to network and learn more about how to do so along the way. It’s also very important to network during your studies so you’ve got a profile and a reputation built from the start.

One way you can network in your university is by getting to know your lecturers a bit. This might be the most important of all. Go visit your lecturers in office hours and bond with them, be very attentive in class and ensure that you’ve highlighted yourself in front of your lecturers. Lecturers often have the most knowledge about the job market and what’s going on in the industry. They can give you more tips about how you can do better in your modules and can give advice to boost your career. They can also give your reference to interested employers that they may know, and can list down your name for many crucial opportunities. Staying in their good books would help you all that much more.

Getting involved around your university, as a part-time job or as a member of a society or club, leads to meeting new people, while also boosting your CV. The people you meet and get to know might know other people who help you out, and could put in a good word for you.

Universities usually have a careers center that prioritizes student employability, which you could use to your advantage. They can help you get internships and let you know about upcoming job fairs that will help you meet people you can talk to about getting into the career you want to go for.

When you’re involved in your university and the student centers and the employability opportunities that they provide, or when you’re in constant communication with your lecturers, they can guide you to networking events that you could attend to expand your links. You could also look out for local events that are advised to see how they could help you out. When you attend such events, you get to talk to many different people who can help you out, and can get their contact details to ask them any specific queries you might have.

We all know the impact that social media can have. It’s a great way to raise awareness and communicate, but more importantly, it is a great way to reach out and connect with people. Using websites like LinkedIn to network and putting your profile out there are very good for expanding your network.

You could “cold email” (emailing and reaching out to people you don’t really know) people whose work you admire, and maybe receive a response from them and get advice on how they’ve achieved all that they have.

There are many different ways to network, and once you get the hang of it, you’d find it fun as well. The important thing is meeting the right people and asking the right questions. Once you acquire the skills of doing so, you’ve ensured a good support system and great advice, which would make all the difference.