What most successful people in the business industry realize is the fact that networking is very important. But how important? If you think about the benefits one by one you will start realizing, very quickly, that it is absolutely essential. Have you ever witnessed or heard of someone that started from the ground up and achieved everything they ever wanted and needed based on themselves only, asking of nothing of anyone else and receiving absolutely no aid? If the answer to that question is “no”, welcome to the club.
Networking means creating and keeping a contact list of people we have a relationship with, professional and personal, that we can reach out to in order to further our career. The idea is to make and maintain relationships with people that could potentially one-day offer assistance or guidance in your work. And vice-versa of course. You grow your network by reaching out to others, introducing yourself, attending events, or simply meeting your coworkers. There are endless ways to create meaningful and useful professional relationships. It is essential to do so.
The bigger your network, the more opportunities you have. Knowing and maintaining relationships with people can have a huge impact on your career. It can potentially fast track it. Let’s say a company is looking for a sales manager, and the previous manager happens to know you and the fact that you have the right background for a job like this. They can put in a good word for you or contact you to inform you of the opportunity so you can apply before others get a chance. It simply makes you more noticeable.
It helps immensely with career development as it accelerates the pace by giving you more opportunities. If you want to grow professionally, your career development matters a lot. You therefore can look for people within your network that can help you gain new skills and experiences to become more capable in your field or a new one!
Networking can also allow you to improve as a professional or an employee. They can create referrals, job leads, and more. Networking within your workplace can help you to self-improve on many different levels. Your supervisors can write recommendation letters, your coworkers can assist in your daily tasks, and you can do the same for them.
You might think that you need to be an extrovert to be able to network successfully. That cannot be further from the truth! Of course it can help to be naturally outgoing in certain situations, but it is something you can learn too. Different methods and places work for different people. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box of corporate networking and branch out. Almost all situations can serve as great networking opportunities if utilized in the right way. It doesn’t have to be a formal event, it can happen on a train, a coffee shop or even on holiday. You meet people everywhere and you never know who might pop up on your journey!
Another important thing to know is that nurturing such connections is very crucial. Follow up with people you have in your network and be present when help you can offer is needed. It should be a mutually beneficial situation. Nurturing such connections can also help you develop very close and long-lasting relations.
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