Active networking is highly essential for career growth. After all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Networking is not about selling yourself, but about building long-term relationships and gaining a reputation with various individuals over time. Networking is also a two-way street, and it involves meeting and understanding people who you can assist and who can help you in return.
Good networking is based on trust and support, so be honest and open and you’ll have no problem growing your list of contacts. Don’t underestimate the importance of networking in a professional setting, because it can determine your chances of fetching you a mediocre career or a phenomenal one.
Who is in your network?
Your network might include your friends, family, colleagues, and members of groups which you belong to. It may even include people from social and interest-based groups, sporting teams, professional associations, and digital networks on LinkedIn and Twitter. There is no limit to who you can include in your network, and you never know who will end up helping you when you need it most. Here are a few perks of networking for your career.
Networking is about sharing. It is about trust and helping one another grow towards your goals. Engage with your contacts regularly and find opportunities to help them. Refer contacts for the roles you hear about, forward articles of their interests or career opportunities, and arrange an introduction for mutual contacts. Keep the flow of communication open, and consider congratulating them on LinkedIn on achieving a new career milestone. This way, you create a rapport for reciprocal assistance, and they’ll be happy to assist when you need help, too.
Your networks can give you new ideas and perspectives to help in your role. Exchanging information on experiences, challenges, and goals with your network, helps you to gain new insights that you might not have thought of. You can even ask for suggestions from your colleagues, mentors, or teachers to help you face a challenge and it will also make them feel trusted and useful. Offer them ideas in return to project yourself as an innovative thinker.
Elevate your profile in professional circles
Being visible and noticed is a benefit of networking essential for career building. Regularly attend professional and social events. Remember names, offer your knowledge and expertise, create value for the attendees by listening to them, and follow up on conversations. Build your reputation as a knowledgeable, supportive, and reliable member of your profession by offering useful tips and information. Raise your profile in your professional circles to stand out to recruiters, who look out for strong talents.
Access to opportunities
Active networking can fetch you new opportunities for business, career advancement, knowledge, and personal growth. When opportunities arise, you are likely to get referred, or introduced to potentially relevant people. Being a recognised part of networks might get you access to jobs that are not even advertised. You also get access to the exchange of valuable information over a wide network of informed interconnected contacts.