Effective networking is essential to advance professional development and provides many benefits. It is a fantastic opportunity to expand your business circle, opportunities and personal knowledge. The main elements of networking are based on great communication skills, trust and support. Knowing how to network is a skill that is learned. Developing strategies, over time, will help to make it an enjoyable experience.
Benefits of Networking:
- Improve career prospects and professional development
- Provides opportunity to increase knowledge
- Opportunity to develop new ideas
- Helps build confidence levels
- Gain new insights and fresh perspectives
- Opportunity to develop strong relationships
- Raises your profile
- Can result in new opportunities for your organisation
- Opportunity to further expand your social circle
- Essential to gain insights into the job market and business world
Developing strategies to improve networking will enhance future opportunities and can advance your career. There are many tips that can help with boosting your morale. Enjoying the sociable experiences of meeting other professionals can bring a positive dimension to the job. Similar to personal relationships, trust is built over time.
Useful strategies for effective networking:
- Plan ahead before each networking event
- Actively participate at networking engagements
- Try to greet and mingle with as many people as possible
- Getting to the event early can increase connecting with more individuals – ‘the early bird catches the worm’
- Staying late can help too
- Know who is going to be there
- Practice elevation pitches before the event
- Bring a small supply of business cards
- Always follow up on leads after the event, promptly – seek their business card or details, to save a long search after the event.
Networking is an amazing and valuable skill that can bring incredible success and support to your career. It is really important to value and nurture the connections that have been made. It’s important to remember; be genuine with each connection and stay in touch regularly to strengthen the relationship, then trust will follow. “There’s a ton of value in taking the time to build a real human to human relationship” – Mike Allton