A really useful post in this week’s Chronicle explains why networking is so important in academia. If you still think that networking is only relevant to those working in the commercial sector, think again! Read the full article here.
James Lang argues that networking need not only be self-serving but that it is important for teachers to direct their undergraduate and postgraduate students in how to network. Almost anyone’s career chances will be boosted by having this skill.
Networking is about much more than small talk and the bravery to approach someone you don’t know and start talking about yourself. It’s about being perceptive enough to draw connections between your work and theirs, about spending the time researching the background of colleagues in order to speak intelligently with them.
These skills can also benefit the university too. Networking can be employed to help boost student numbers when staff members are asked to work at prospective student events. Long’s article makes us all stop and think: networking isn’t just a cringe-worthy self-serving tool but something that we do naturally every day. And so we need to pass the technique on to our students to ensure it becomes part of their working practice too.