The Importance of Networking

The Importance of Networking

Whether you are an employee or self-employed, networking is essential for your career. Networking is interacting with others to exchange information and create professional and/or social contacts.

For many of us, networking can be uncomfortable. It requires possibly stepping out of your comfort zone a little. Networking with people can bring so much benefit to you personally and professionally, if done well.

You can network in small settings, middle sized or large groups. It can be very beneficial to connect with people of both the same and different industries. These connections can bring you a variety of benefits. You may gain a friend, a resource you can use or refers others to for whatever they offer, a new client, a new opportunity to collaborate in some capacity or change a role and more, just to name a few benefits.

Here are some tips for networking:

To prepare for networking, be ready to explain to others quickly and efficiently what you do and offer. Think about having an elevator pitch. If you haven’t heard that term before, it is the ability to tell someone what you offer in the quick time it takes to ride on an elevator. Make sure to have business cards with you to exchange with them.

Give more than you take. You will want to help others connect and grow as well. Ask questions and learn from others. Networking should not just be for your benefit. How can you genuinely help others?

Don’t get taken advantage of. I know we just said to give more than you take. However, make sure you aren’t being used either. Like any collaboration, it should be beneficial to all parties.

Be open to meeting people of all walks of life. You never know who you are meeting and the connections they have.

Come with an intriguing topic or question to talk about with others. This can be a great way to break the ice and not just talk surface level small chat. This can take the conversations to a much more beneficial and interesting level for all. If you can’t come up with an idea, just do a quick internet search.

I say this often, you never know where your life will go. I always recommend being kind and connecting with others. Someday your future self will be grateful for those decisions. We recommend taking the opportunity to network any chance you can in all different types of scenarios. You never know the people you will meet. Get out of your comfort zone and connect with people. It may just change your life personally and professionally.

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