Over the years, a lot of professionals shy away from networking. This is because they see it as a pretense, as people often network because of what they can get from others. But, in recent times, networking is rapidly growing and people are forming professional relationships with each other. What exactly is networking and why is it important? Well, in this article, we will discuss what it is and its importance. We will also share some tips on how you can go about it.
What Is Networking?
Networking means building a mutually beneficial relationship with people. This means you need to have values you can offer to your network. You do not necessarily need to register for networking events before you can connect with people. Whether at work, parties, restaurants, and so on, you meet people to connect with everyday. Sometimes, all you need to do is drop your phone when you are outside and you will see a lot of networking opportunities. And in recent times when there are different social media platforms you can build a network there as well.
Now that you know what networking is, why exactly is it important?
Why Is Networking Important For Career Development?
In the career world it is important that you network if you want to advance/grow. And here are some reasons why connecting with people is important ;
It Makes You Noticeable
There are lots of talents out there, and you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. When you network with people, and share your skills and passion with them, then there is a tendency that you will become visible. And once people start to notice you, a lot of opportunities will come your way.
To Expose You To New Opportunities
Networking is extremely important during job search. This is because referral from the right person can increase your chance of being hired. If you are looking to change your job or career, you can reach out to your professional connections. They can help you find out whether there are openings at various companies in and outside your industry.
Therefore, you should take time to build relationships with people in the professional world. So that they can help you when you are searching for job opportunities.
To Help You Meet People At Different Professional Level
It can be difficult sometimes to access those that are at the helm of affairs in a company. This is where networking comes in. Building relationships with people at different professional levels is important. This type of connection exposes you to mentorship opportunities which are highly essential for career development.
Besides, when you know people at different professional levels, it exposes you to various opportunities. This means that with the right connection, you are already one foot in landing your dream role.
For Bringing New Ideas
Another importance of networking for career advancement is that it helps you gain new insight and ideas. When you build relationships with professionals and you relate with them, they get to share some ideas that you can also implement in your job or business. These fresh ideas can make you stand out at your work and who knows you might get a promotion. If you are still searching for jobs, the new ideas you get can help you answer certain interview questions that can increase your chance of being hired.
Apart from getting ideas, you might also see things in new perspectives. This can boost your creative thinking and make you a valuable asset at your workplace.
To Boost Your Confidence
Networking can help you boost your confidence, especially if you are an introvert. Meeting new people and building relationships always look like huge tasks for introverts. But once you take the step of attending any networking event and building new relationships, you get to talk about your career and passion. Then, you are on your way to boosting your confidence. And when you build your confidence, you can foster this into your career.
Tips On How To Network
If you want to network and you don’t know how to go about it, well, we have some tips for you;
- Know the networking style that works best for you
There are different networking styles out there and what works for A might not work for B. Therefore, you need to figure out which style is perfect for you. If you are an introvert that prefers networking at intimate events, then go for it and vice versa. This is a strategy that can help you network successfully.
- Network at every opportunity
You do not need to wait for a special event or occasion before you network with people. Build relationships at every opportunity. Whether in a coffee shop, at the gym and so on. Once you see someone with whom you have similar professional goals, then go for it. Volunteering can also help to build a meaningful relationship.
You should always have a networking plan. This is to ensure you are not connecting with just anybody you see.
When you make new friends at networking events, then you need to do a follow-up to build a strong connection. Some people miss this, and they eventually miss people that can help them grow career wise. You can simply send a LinkedIn connection request and then you go from there.
- Offer value to your network
New connections you make will die a natural death if you are not offering values. The deeper the connection goes, the more the value you both offer each other. Nobody wants to connect with people that just want to use them. So, ensure you are offering values to your network.
The bottom line is that networking is very important if you want to grow career wise. No time is too late or early for you to network. So if you are just hearing about it, then you need to build connections NOW. Attending networking events or volunteering is a great way to start.