165: Why Does Networking Matter?

In college, we all have one primary goal–get that degree. Yet, the importance of forming meaningful connections often goes unnoticed. And it’s not because you skipped a couple of lectures, it’s just that networking doesn’t fit into the organic-chemistry syllabus or world history discussions. Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most prosperous. When you invest in your relationships, both professional and personal, you can expect dividends throughout your career.

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to find the least qualified people landing the job during an interview. Sometimes it’s not always about what you know but who you know. So, take the time to build meaningful relationships with those in your professional circle. When the time comes to search for work or new business, you can tap into those valuable connections for referrals, insights into job leads, and other helpful information. 

Tequesta’s Journey Into Entrepreneurship – 03:41

Earn a university degree and get a job. This formula served our parents and their parents but is increasingly becoming redundant in most of today’s industries. Employers expect more from fresh graduates and having papers just doesn’t cut it anymore. As a start, you need to have an expertly written cover letter customized to match employer needs. Sadly, most students are not willing to invest in skills that can potentially set them apart from their competition. Investing in skills that prepare you for the job market requires a mindset shift and understanding that the acquired skills will serve you for a lifetime. Tequesta is an HR professional whose company helps college students and recent graduates prepare for post-college life and job hunting.   

Her journey towards entrepreneurship isn’t without a few hiccups. But the one thing that has remained constant throughout is the need to form meaningful connections. It’s not uncommon to find the least qualified people landing the job during an interview. Tequesta believes that sometimes it’s not always about what you know but who you know. 

How to Build and Scale Your Connections – 09:45

Although the pandemic might have put a stop to physical networking events, LinkedIn is a gold mine when it comes to looking for mentors. Start by looking up successful people holding the positions you wish to one day hold and connect with them. And then we get to the tricky part, reaching out. How you reach out to a person will make or break your chances of forming a connection. People are busy out here, and you risk being ignored if you don’t go straight to the point. According to Tequesta, the easiest way to link with mentors is to ask them to talk about themselves. People love talking about themselves, and while they might not spare you an hour, 15 minutes is enough to get to know someone. 

Now that you’ve formed that relationship, how do you cultivate it into something meaningful? Tequesta believes that reaching out after the initial meet should be organic. When your mentor posts a picture or updates their status, leave a comment— a small congratulations after a promotion is enough. 

Treat People Nicely – 17:50

You’ve probably heard or used the quote: treat others the way you’d want to be treated. It sounds simple and probably makes sense as far as relationships are concerned. Besides, it’s often stated that people rarely remember what you said but will never forget how you made them feel. No matter where you are in life, more so if you’re enjoying a successful period in your life, treat people nicely. Treating people nicely doesn’t mean lowering your standards; it’s all about being humble enough to acknowledge the next person as a human being. You never know; tomorrow, it might be you asking for a favor. If you can’t help them or if the help they’re after is something you usually charge, link them to a resource that can help them understand a thing or two. 

How to Amicably Leave Your Job – 22:12

If you were to get hit by a bus today, your boss would advertise a vacancy less than a week later. They would keep moving because that’s what’s best for them. If you’re not happy at your workplace, start thinking about what’s best for you and your career. Some people spend years in the same position with no signs of promotion, all in the name of earning a living. Life is more than just working nine to five. If they don’t value your input, it would be best if you looked for other alternatives. Understandably, you’d be a little cautious not to lose your job, but this is when you need your connections the most. Reach out to them and ask them to link you up once better opportunities arise in their respective organizations.   

Tequesta DeSouza holds a Master’s in Human Resources from Nova Southeastern University, a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University, and certifications as a Senior Human Resource Professional Certification (SPHR) and Society of Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).

As a Human Resources professional with over 14 years of experience spanning the non-profit, government, and for-profit sectors, Tequesta’s passion has always been developing young adults for their future success in the workplace.  

Future Unleashed LLC was founded by Tequesta to position college graduates and young adults with the tools needed to quickly gain employment after graduation. Connect with Tequesta DeSouza on LinkedIn.

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