The Power of Networking

My best advice for those who may be uncertain? You have to go for it. Showing interest and starting the conversation can take you so many directions!

Kayla Moran

University of Tennessee College of Law

Class of 2022

I love networking and, in general, connecting with people.  My passion for human connection led me to create a blog, kaylamoranblog.com, and to become an Internet content creator on multiple social media platforms, including LinkedIn and Instagram (and now also through my podcast, Let’s Get Candid). I especially enjoy posting to LinkedIn! It is an amazing way for us all to connect with people in our industry (or in the industry we want to be in), build a network, and gain value and opportunities. 

I cannot tell you how important networking is for any career these days, especially if you want to go into a professional career like law. The world is all about who you know and fostering connections to leverage opportunities for yourself. Social media platforms like LinkedIn make it easy to create professional connections and learn about topics you actually appreciate and value. 

Social media also can be a great source of substantive information. I love reading the articles my connections share and following my favorite companies and organizations to see what they are up to! Sharing posts with others creates new connections and builds community. Fun fact: my father and I trade LinkedIn posts regularly and it’s fun! I learn so much in just fifteen minutes of social media activity a day. It’s wild.

The true significance of LinkedIn and other social media platforms for career development? The power of networking! The Merriam-Webster definition of networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specificallythe cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”

If you have ever read a Facebook post of a friend announcing a new job or internship or opportunity, chances are they got there because of their network. Hard work is SO important and definitely plays a huge role. But in the final analysis, career advancement also involves being in the right place at the right time. Enter your network. If you are searching for a job and you put feelers out to people you know, they may be able to get you leads, interviews, . . . your foot in the door, basically. Sometimes that is all you need! 

Having LinkedIn and other professional social media accounts allows you to put those feelers out there and communicate with people who are already doing what you want to do. The advice, tips, and ideas I have gotten from online conversations with people I have met and come to know through LinkedIn is immeasurable. 

As I reflect on my own professional development, it seems important to note that 100% of the jobs I have had since high school have been the product of networking, in one way or another—from college friends mentioning something casually to a family connection. For example, I interned for a U.S. Senator through a college friend and worked at a law firm prior to entering law school through my father’s business connections. LinkedIn and other social media platforms allow you to build broader connections and opportunities for yourself and then share the love with your network!

The second most underrated networking tool? YOU.

COVID-19 aside, going to events and meeting people, putting yourself out there, . . . . That’s the true key to networking. It can be so simple, too! Just say “hi” and ask a question, in person at a holiday party or in direct messages—DMs. I have gotten a few opportunities that way, including my current role at Rella! 

My best advice for those who may be uncertain? You have to go for it. Showing interest and starting the conversation can take you so many directions!

Yeah, the world is all who you know. But just because you don’t know anyone (or enough people) right now doesn’t mean in a month you won’t. Get on LinkedIn and make it happen for yourself! 

I plan to do a second post on tips for networking—the mechanics of it and the dos and don’ts. But I wanted first to share why I am so passionate about networking and offer some encouragement on getting started. I also want to use these posts to encourage you to use LinkedIn as a resource for developing leadership skills. By being unafraid to put yourself out there and being open to these opportunities, you are exuding confidence and courage, two traits of a great leader.

Leadership, whether appointed, elected, or de-facto (and I have often been a de facto leader), comes from within us. Using our skills and showing up for ourselves, going after what we want, and making the connections that will allow us to make an impact in our desired fields and communities enables our leadership. LinkedIn was created to be a social media networking site for career-minded professionals, but throughout the last decade, it has also become a building block for great leadership qualities in all who subscribe and take advantage of its many features.

I am always “up” for new connections on LinkedIn and for helping you any way I can. So, feel free to connect with me through the social media accounts noted above. Also, if you have any questions for me, leave them in comments here or message me on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s