How to make networking work for you

Networking is one of the keys to a successful, dynamic career. The aim of networking is to build long-term relationships with key people, but this isn’t just limited to business people. You can build strong networks with friends, family, your local community, people who inspire you or people who work in related fields.  
A good networker invests their time in getting to know people. The more effort you put in, the greater the reward. 

Why spend time building relationships?

Networking is about sharing, 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. 

Benefits of networking:

  • Networking can be an excellent way to get new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role. Exchanging information on challenges you’ve faced, experiences you’ve gained and the goals you have in sight 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 raises your profile and is a way of getting noticed. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get you known in wider circles. 
  • Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. Active networking helps to keep you head of the rest when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral.
  • Networking is a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of your peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments. No industry stands still, so developing a wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means access to new and valuable information which will keep you at the forefront of your profession. 
  • Gaining the advice of more experienced peers is an important benefit of networking. Established processionals will have plenty of valuable suggestions and guidance, and most are happy to share their knowledge. You just have to ask. 
As well as networking, stay informed on your job market with Michael Page jobs online listings.