The Importance of Networking

The ability to communicate effectively is one of the key personal skills which will reap you many rewards both in your professional and personal life. While many people believe they may not have communication skills perfected, it is like every skill you get better with practice and this means putting yourself out there.

In one of my previous positions, as part of my annual review, I was tasked with developing my networking skills, in order to enhance the business. At that time I will admit I was horrified with the task but it was probably the best task any manager could request. I started attending events and as time went on I actually looked forward to going to various events. Meeting new people and making friends and letting people get to know you on a personal level is an important aspect of networking.  It is important to let the people you meet get to know who you are, how you think and what skills you have to offer.  Being open, honest and comfortable with just being you is the best way to do that. It is important to leave a positive impression with people that you are not only competent but you are also a pleasant person to deal with!

Some the benefits I observed from successful networking include the following:

Career Opportunities & Promotions:

By improving your communications skills through networking you too improve your communication skills at work. In doing so, you increase your ability to achieve success, have your successes noted, and get yourself those promotions you deserve.

 

Business Leads and Business Sharing:

Networking is a great way to acquire new business leads.  Using the contacts you make when you meet people can open doors for business opportunities. As relationships grow and trust is achieved, your network may refer you to others, which is the best form of marketing, in my opinion.

 

Personal Opportunities

Networking can also be a personal benefit. Professional relationships you develop can be used for identifying practical solutions to everyday life. We all need a recommended provider in areas such as building contractor, house renovations or IT solutions. Building personal conversations into your network helps build relationships.

 

Best Practices and Information Sharing within the Work Environment:

Sometimes it’s difficult to get research completed in order to keep abreast of changing legislation or work practices. Networking can greatly benefit in that you learn from others and identify valuable strategies and practices that are occurring within the workplace. You can discuss and identify business trends which are applicable to you and which could fruitful in order to give you competitive advantage and efficiency advantages by implementing new ways of doing things within your role or organisation.

 

Identifying and recognizing other companies “pains” through group discussions serves a dual purpose in that as a group the objective is to seek a resolution as how best to eliminate or alleviate these pains. However, everyone learns to think outside the box and within these discussions it is important to be an attentive listener as well as a contributor!

Networking events can be scary for some people but the benefits as above are so valuable that it is important to go beyond the fear and you will find yourself enjoying events and your confidence will grow accordingly. Set yourself a target of attending a business event every month and remember these events are merely liked minded people all wanting to achieve the same as you!

 

Author: Mary Young (FC) Optimize Recruitment

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