February 16, 2024 | Ian Hatcher

Networks Work! Why they Deserve more Attention

In the evolving landscape of K-12 education, the nexus between learning and future economic prosperity is increasingly being defined by a dual focus on hard skills and technological proficiency. Yet, an essential element—social capital—has not been fully harnessed, despite mounting evidence highlighting its influence on career trajectories. 

Research from organizations such as Opportunity Insights1 and insights shared by LinkedIn have recently reinforced the important role that networking and connections play in securing employment and advancing economically. Nonetheless, current trends in educational innovation have predominantly overlooked this dimension, opting instead for models that prioritize technical skills and digital literacy as the main themes of future advancement. These pieces, while necessary, overlook a key component in the recipe for future success and happiness. 

The Student-Centric Approach

At Find Your Grind, we place a lot of emphasis on skill development and growth, but we also acknowledge that the networks through which these skills are applied, grown, and leveraged are too important to overlook. That’s why we devote five entire units (in our 36-unit curriculum) to expose students to the importance of networking and equip them with the questions to ask and the steps to follow to build their own network.

Our approach is rooted in purpose exploration and discovery, fostering deep reciprocal relationships, and offering real-world steps to guide students to create their own thriving networks. We do this by exposing students to the power of their own personal brand, helping them build their own, purposeful digital reputation, teaching them how to engage in social media, helping them harness the power of mentorship, and then putting it all together and building their network through genuine connections!

Social Capital in Career Pathways

Our curriculum is designed to emphasize the importance of building and nurturing these networks from the ground up. Through our bite-sized learning process, students are encouraged to build meaningful connections, enhancing their career readiness and opening up paths that they may have never even considered before.

Join us in this journey, and together, let’s embrace not just careers, but lifestyles that are as connected as they are meaningful. With Find Your Grind, discover the power of networking and how it can transform students’ futures, unlock opportunities, and pave the way to success in our ever-evolving world.

1 https://opportunityinsights.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/socialcapital_nontech.pdf

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