With global digitisation, virtually established networks can help you on the go, anywhere, anytime. However, networking in person is as important as doing the same over social portals, like LinkedIn and Quora. While both these networks can help you with a different perspective - especially when making a career switch to data science, they can also contribute with career advice, leads, contacts, and exposure.
For in person networking, you may establish these connects by attending conferences, Meetups, hackathons and other industry/domain-related events. It’s imperative to connect and follow up with the personnel on LinkedIn after you have met them at these events. If you dont, they may forget you... sometimes, within a day.
Building contacts greatly contributes in getting word of mouth referrals and industry mentors who can help you grow in the industry. First level connections with industry leads, on LinkedIn, are always valuable as it gives you firsthand information about all the advancements and updates from the field. This helps you stay updated and keeps you on your toes, professionally.
Real information and learning from the real game changers. This kind of network can be career changing for you.
A career switch is often nerve-wracking and leaves us feeling apprehensive. Career changes can come at any point in your life. They may be planned or completely uncalled for. There are plenty of things one may choose to do to make the transition smooth. At this point, one’s social and professional network can act as a safety net to bounce on, and should serve as a motivator to make that career switch to data science.
It's always good to have your network and connections in place beforehand. So do not wait to start building connects only when you are in dire need. Think ahead and network whenever you get an opportunity.
Remember: Never burn bridges. Focus on only building new ones.