I recently scanned through my LinkedIn connections to update myself on what everyone was doing. I noticed that most of my friends and associates, that are around my age, had left the walls of their tertiary education provider. They are now in their first or second job at various organisations. Some are still in New Zealand and some are abroad. Some are within key government agencies, some are in the business service sector and, unbeknown to me, some have even moved into a similar sector to me or are employees of my prospective clients.
When I go back 5 years all of these people had simply ‘Student of X’ in their LinkedIn description. Now, the movement of this large group of people into the global workforce has fundamentally exploded (in a good way) my professional network. I now not only have a number of new connections in a range of organisations across the globe, but they also act as a connection into their new and expanding network.
While it may seem trivial upon reading this, for those going through their tertiary education studies, it simply isn’t. This is because while at university or polytechnique students are focused on making connections with those in the workforce. After all this is where their first employer will likely come from. However, that beer with your university mates at the local pub or joining that student club could have a bigger influence on your future career.
The same goes for right now. Where do you intend to be in 5 years? At the same organisation or will you be at elsewhere? But more importantly where will your current friends, associates and colleagues be in 5 years?
As you evolve so does your network. Building a diverse network across many levels, generations and fields rather than one that suits your immediate needs, will likely lead to richer network in subsequent years.