Networking is very important for professionals however it is even more important for apprentices. Apprentices are at the beginning of their career, working towards their qualifications whilst trying to become competent in the industry they are working in. Networking will allow apprentices to connect with other professionals and apprentices in their field of work. Talking to people with more experience in your field will allow you to learn from them, see how they managed to get to the point they are currently in in their career and that can open up an opportunity for mentorship. Connecting with people who are also in the beginning of their career, other apprentices and graduates, will allow you to find out about training events and will allow you to have a support group that will help each other if someone is struggling with a task.
One of the best ways to network within your company is at office events. During the day you may only interact with your team and maybe a couple people outside of it, however at office events all teams are merged together and it gives you a chance to talk to everyone. If your company is relatively large there may not be many events with the whole office but there will be social events after the working day, CPD events, events if someone’s leaving or joining the company. Going to as many events as possible will allow you to meet new people in your industry, you will then be able to share which projects you are working on, how you are finding it and this will lead to someone offering their help. Getting involved in networking will boost your confidence and will show others in your company you are eager to learn making them more likely to give you new opportunities.
LinkedIn is a good platform to grow your network within and outside of your company. You are able to make a profile with your qualifications and work experience to date and choose the types of industries you are interested in. Once you start connecting with people you know, such as people in your company, LinkedIn will suggest other people in your company as well as people with similar professions. This will allow you to connect with a larger range of people, read their posts and articles and attend any events or training sessions they are holding. You can also private message people who you find interesting, whether that is to find out more about a post they have published or to find out more about how they got to the current point in their career. As LinkedIn is a platform for networking many people are happy to share their knowledge and help you find opportunities. You will find that with a large network people will approach you with opportunities and job roles as they will be able to see your experience on your profile and from speaking with you will know you are eager for new opportunities and are competent in your role. This will allow you to have a diverse working portfolio which will enable you to get good working opportunities in the future.