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Why "network" ?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by UKDarkstar, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Much is often made, particularly by us BCS Members :p , of the opportunity to network with other IT professionals.

    Sometimes from reading here and elsewhere I fell that younger people don't appreciate this valuable asset in their career arsenal.

    So, why network ?

    Well, personally I think that :

    • It allows you to make contact with others who share your work interests
    • It allows you to "promote" yourself to your peers
    • It allows for sharing of knowledge, skills and experience

    A colleague of mine recently expressed it very well I thought :

    Serendipity is central to the networking concept. It only seems that it was just “by chance” that you met the right person, made a good contact, discovered that useful source of knowledge and skills.

    When you start out on your IT career it's very easy to see it as revolving around the acquisition of knowledge (certs and other qualifications) and focussing on the mundane day-to-day aspects of a job.

    But, think about it - do you really still want to be a 1st line help desk tech when your 40, or 50 ?

    If you take a little time early on to build a network of contacts then as your career progresses you may find that you fall into new roles quite naturally due to connections you have made in the past.

    So, use the BCS, LinkedIn and other networking opportunities to build your contact network now while you have the chance !

    Anyone else with thoughts on this ?
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  2. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

    only that i agree completely!

    EDIT: thought i might add, whilst working with only one other in our IT dept has been good for allowing me access to all areas of IT, and the skills and experience this has given me, i now look forward to have many different people to discuss IT with and share knowledge and experience with in a big IT dept.
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
  3. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Hi DarkStar, what a thought provoking thread. I too think its VERY important to network. I was certain I'd stay with my previous employer as I had it pretty cushy but then I met a few people on a works doo and the rest is history. Got me a role where I can almost write my own ticket if I work hard enough.

    What I've found in my career so far is you can have all the knowledge and certs in the world, but if your ignorant, an elitist or basically have poor soft/people skills, you won't go further than being the go-to techie.

    I've always made a point of building realtionships with my peers and its paid off for me. I'd like to think I've made a few friends on good old Cert Forums too.

    I am going to email my CV to the BCS YPG tomorrow, see if they need me. I'm keen to get more involved with the BCS because as you say, its basically a collection of IT professionals so where better to expand my WAN (networking joke. . . . tumbleweed?).
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  4. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    I agree with you, partly.

    Personally, I find that networking just isn't as beneficial to me as I'd like it to be (I'm sure this is in part due to the fact that I do very little to actively expand my range of contacts). My justfication for this is that at the moment, I don't need contacts especially. I'm (semi) happy in my current job. I could leave but then I'd be giving up the large amount of study time that I get in my current role. Study time = More certs = Better CV = Possibility of a better job in the future.

    Once I have achieved a certain level (perhaps MCSA) then I'll give more focus to networking (I may even join the BCS :wink:). I think it's partly to do with the fact there are a lot of fish in the ocean on 1st/2nd line, but as you progress up the career ladder than having more contacts is of more use to you.

    My two cents.

    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  5. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    That's actually my point tho' m8. If you made those contacts now, you might find in the future the route out and upwards a lot easier as you'd be "known" to your peers.

    Give it a try - you might be surprised at the results :biggrin
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Exactly this. It's not working for you because you're not doing it.

    Networking can absolutely put you in "the right place at the right time". All of my IT jobs except two were offered to me because someone knew me and knew what I could do for their company.

    Can you get by without networking? Certainly. But why would you not do something that is extremely likely to help your career? Not networking is about as logical as not certifying or not pursuing higher education. It does make a difference.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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