Networking is a vital part to career growth. Sometimes networking can be confused with selling, but it is creating long-term relationships with mutual benefits and building a good reputation over time. It is an essential process that should be implemented throughout all stages of your professional journey.
Networking is not about trying to meet as many people as possible, but rather it is trying to meet the right type of people that will be able to endorse your specific skillset, show you opportunities and point you in direction of other well-connected people.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of networking.
1 – Raise your profile
One of the first advantages of networking that is extremely important in career building is being able to raise your profile, you can do this by being visible and getting noticed. The way you can do this is by attending as many social and professional events as possible which will help get your face known.
When you are attending these events, you must provide value for other attendees (it’s not all about you), long lasting relationships are built on trust and providing value to each other. You can create value by listening carefully, following up on conversations, remembering names, and offering your knowledge and expertise.
2 – Advance your career
Having the ability to go out and network with people within your industry can hugely benefit your chances of climbing the ladder in your industry.
You can advance your career and build your reputation by being knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive by providing useful information to people who need it.
3 – Strengthen business connections
“Sharing is caring”, for lack of a better term, is what networking is all about. You must be willing to share the information you have and not just take information from other people. It is about forming trust and helping each other reach your individual goals. Staying in regular dialogue with your contacts and finding ways to assist them will help strengthen your relationship. This will plant the seed for a long-lasting relationship and for when you need assistance to achieve your goals.
4 – Get access to job opportunities
Having the ability to expand your contacts can lead to many new opportunities for business, career advancement or for personal growth. When you are actively networking it keeps you at the forefront of peoples minds when new job openings become available, and it will increase your chances of being introduced to relevant people or potentially even a referral.
As your career advances a lot of jobs do not get advertised, so being recognised in the right network of people can open the door to more career opportunities that you may not have otherwise.
5 – Get career advice and support
Receiving career advice from experienced people within your industry is another important benefit of networking. When you are discussing your common challenges and opportunities this can lead to important suggestions and guidance. When you can offer good advice and support to your contacts this will set a strong foundation when you need support in return.
Article written by:
Cian McGoey is part of the Digital Marketing team within Servisource Workforce Solutions.