Active networking is vital to career growth. Often confused with selling, networking is actually about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return.
Here are some key networking benefits:
- Strengthen business connections
Networking is about sharing, not taking. Regularly engaging with your contacts, and finding opportunities to assist them helps to strengthen the relationship. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your goals.
- Get fresh ideas, knowledge, and support
Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences, and goals from experienced peers is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of. Similarly, offering helpful ideas to a contact is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.
Networking is also a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of your peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments. A wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means broader access to new and valuable information.
- Advance you career
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: people do business with people they know, like, and trust. Networking expands your contact which can open doors to new opportunities. You can then help to build your reputation as being knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people. Active networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people, or even a referral.
- Build confidence
By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’re effectively stepping outside your comfort zone, and building invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn how to make lasting connections.
If you are interested in networking opportunities, and are a Chamber member we invite you to join us on the first and third Wednesday of every month for Wake Up Wednesday. You can contact Sarah Javins at [email protected] or visit our website for more information.