Networking for Teenagers – Yes

If you are like me, someone who has been out of high school for more than ten years, you have had plenty of time to learn that you will not use many of the lessons that you were forced to learn in high school.  High school students will each be pursuing their own paths after they graduate, but regardless of which career paths they embark upon, all high school students should learn how to network and promote themselves.  Learning how to network is just as important as learning how to write resumes and cover letters because networking leads to building relationships with potential business contacts and friends. 

Networking is not just for CEOs and public figures; anyone and everyone should and can network.  High school students need to learn that there are more factors to getting a job or securing business than having a well-written resume.  Your demeanour and your willingness to make contact with others will help people decide whether to do business with you or not.  Many of the courses taught in high school do not apply to every student.  Students who have no interest in learning how to fix a car or build furniture should not be forced to take mechanics and wood working classes.  Students who have no interest in working in the sciences fields should not be forced to study physics.  High school students should be encouraged to learn courses that appeal to their interests because the subjects they are interested in would most likely lead to careers they would do well at and enjoy.  EVERY high school student will make use of networking courses that teach them how to market themselves and their talents.  The same cannot be said for some of the courses that students are forced to take in high schools in order to graduate. 

Networking is a great way for working professionals to build up their self-confidence through meeting other people and chatting about their expertise.  Networking is also a great way to learn new and useful information from other people.   Face to face networking occurs when people are meeting each other in person and they usually exchange business cards and chat about their work experiences.  Internet social networking is a great way to connect with people who you may not get to meet face to face right away.  People you meet on Internet social networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn could become future business contacts and valuable friends. 

Internet social networking sites are very useful, but high school students should be taught and made aware of the fact that prospective employers use social media sites like Facebook to learn more about job candidates and how they conduct themselves in their personal lives.  Some employers have fired employees because of postings on Facebook accounts that were deemed to be inappropriate.  High school students should be taught how to effectively use networking to build credible images and reputations for themselves. 

High school is supposed to help teenagers prepare for their future careers.  Not every student will be interested in or make use of all of the subjects that high schools offer, but courses on networking are useful for every high school student regardless of which career path they will pursue.  When high school students start practicing the best ways of how to network and promote themselves while they are teenagers, they will be more prepared on how to network and build their careers when they are adults.