Networking isn’t at the top of everyone's to-do list; it can be time-consuming, awkward at times and, depending on your networking style, draining. When your schedule is already crowded with work and family obligations, the last thing you need is to engage in small talk with strangers at yet another social gathering.
The importance of active networking, however, cannot be overstated. While networking is often confused with selling, the goal of networking is actually to develop long-term relationships and build a good reputation. A good start to achieving this is to meet and get to know people with whom you can work, and who in return, can help you as well. It is important to note that networking is not only helpful when it comes to securing any future job faster, but also gives you an advantage during every stage of your career. The connections you make can have a long-lasting effect on the way you think or even the way you work in the future.
Here are some reasons why networking should be an essential aspect of your work life, if you truly want to build your career:
It gives you that extra pinch of confidence
Networking is a great way to build confidence, especially for those who are more shy or introverted. Sadly, many people avoid networking because of this. Over time, building your self-confidence will put you in a better position to interact positively with people who share your values. This will improve your chances of succeeding in any interview. Consequently, the more effectively you network, the more self-confidence you build over time.
It allows you to meet professionals at different levels
Some organisations make it difficult to get in touch with colleagues in different areas of the business than yourself. Luckily, networking can help you meet professionals at all levels, both above and below your current position. By acting as a mentor to more junior colleagues and tapping into the expertise of peers you can ensure maximum professional growth.
A wider variety of job opportunities can also be accessed by knowing people of different professional levels. When you build relationships with people, you may be able to leverage their connections to land a new job. Connections like these provide new opportunities for career development and mentorship.
It allows for the exchange of ideas
The only way to find out how much you know is to talk to other people. A successful career is often attributed to the pool of information or ideas you have accumulated over time. Creating networks fosters the exchange of ideas necessary to sustain long-lasting relationships and mutual trust.
You can grow professionally by trying new things and coming up with new ideas. Listening to what other people are doing at their companies can also inspire you to apply new techniques or skills to your own work. No matter what kind of company you work for, your fresh ideas can make you stand out and help you succeed.
It helps you advance your career and gain a status
If you want to achieve a high status in your career, you will need to invest time in building your networking skills. Keeping in touch with the right people can contribute significantly to your career growth. It is very likely that your connections will play a major role in determining your career advancement and paving the way for greater opportunities to come your way. The network you build for yourself is a major asset.
The fact is that there are many, many jobs available that are not advertised, so for you to have a chance of getting that promotion within your company or taking on a new role outside of your company, you need to use your connections to your advantage!
People tend to recommend people who they like, so while you may not have met the individual you will be working for in the future, you may have met one of their contacts who might be able to recommend you for that dream job.
For more career advice or tips, get in touch. If you’re looking for the next step in your career, our friendly team are on hand to help, guiding you through from application to acceptance.