Career Success for PhD Researchers: The Importance of Networking

Networking is an essential skill for PhD researchers looking to succeed in their careers. Whether you are seeking a job in academia, industry, government, or non-profit organizations, networking helps you build relationships and gain access to valuable information and resources.

Here are some tips for career focused networking as a PhD researcher:

  1. Attend conferences and events: Conferences and events in your field of study are great opportunities to meet other researchers and professionals. Be sure to do your research about who you want to meet at the event, introduce yourself, ask the person what’s the best way to keep in touch with them (eg Twitter, LinkedIn) and afterwards follow up with any contacts you make.
  2. Join professional organisations: Joining professional organisations in your field can help you stay informed about developments and connect with other professionals. Many organisations also host events and provide networking opportunities.
  3. Use social media: Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be powerful tools for networking. Follow relevant organisations, professionals, and researchers in your field, and participate in online conversations. Develop your social media presence as an active contributor to debate and knowledge sharing.
  4. Seek out mentorship: A mentor can provide guidance and advice as you navigate your career. Look for mentors within your Department or the wider University, or seek out potential supporters from your professional network.
  5. Network beyond your field: Networking with people outside of your area of research can provide valuable insights and opportunities. Attend events and join organisations that are relevant to your career interests, even if they are not directly related to your studies.
  6. Be targeted and strategic in your networking efforts: if you are not a natural networker, seek out those in your areas of interest who are and devote effort to extending your network to include them. Perhaps start off by joining Sussex Connect as it’s a great tool to use to approach people who all have Sussex in common.

Networking can take time and effort, but it is an important part of building a successful career. If you’d like to find out please book a place on our next networking workshop on 15 February Networking and Linkedln for PhD researchers – On-campus (

*This blog post was prepared by Careers and Employability Consultant, Kathryn Mountford