Six Ways Networking Can Benefit Your Career by Michael Page

Networking has many advantages.  Here’s an excerpt of a post you’ll enjoy reading.  Follow the link at the end to read the entire post.

Active networking is vital to career growth. Often confused with selling, networking is actually about building long-term relationships and developing a solid, reliable reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return. Your network includes everyone from friends and family to work colleagues and members of groups to which you belong.

With that in mind, it’s important to realize that while networking is crucial to your career, it’s also something that’s going on all the time. Good networking involves having authentic conversations with interesting people – even if you’re an introvert. Connecting with people – whether on a personal or professional level – is very useful for your career.

Here are some of the key benefits of networking:

1. Strengthens relationships

Networking is about sharing, not taking. It is about forming trust and helping one another toward goals. 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.

Humans are hardwired to reciprocate. If you help someone, you never know when they might return the favour down the line. It could be next week, it could be next year, but the more you reach out and offer assistance, the greater chance there is of someone doing the same for you. You also will make a name for yourself as someone helpful, and useful to know, which may bring you contacts you otherwise may not have met.

2. It’s a source of fresh ideas

Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your career. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals 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.

People think in so many different ways, which is why it can be very useful to speak to someone in a different field, who may provide a completely new way of looking at a problem that you may not have considered. History is full of great problem solvers who zoomed out and considered a tough issue from a new perspective, and suddenly were able to solve it.

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This is why networking shouldn’t just be confined to people who seem immediately “useful” to you, such as people higher up in the same industry. Inspiration and connection can be found anywhere, so never assume someone is not worth knowing because they do something different from you. Plus, you never know who they know, and who they might introduce you to.

3. Raises your profile

Read the rest here:  6 Ways Networking Can Benefit Your Career

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