Networking is fundamental to a successful career. You’ve heard this a dozen times before, but you may still wonder whether it’s true. You may have a picture of networking in your head that involves forced smiles, fake niceties, and business cards. But worry not. The core of networking is essentially building relationships.
What Are The Benefits to Networking in Your Field?
Learning to Benefit Society
The best approach to networking is to not lead with the mindset ‘what can you do for me.’ People will see right through you and that’s part of the reason some are turned off by mixers and other networking events.
Instead, think about what you have to offer other people. You won’t know what someone else needs at first, so the best strategy is to make friends. Network with the people you’d actually like to get a drink with. Then while getting to know someone, listen for opportunities where you can be of service in their career.
Learning this mindset is truly what allows you to expand beyond your normal circles and accomplish things in life that you never dreamed of. You need people to make dreams happen and networking teaches you how to find people with similar desires.
If you’ve been averse to networking up to now, then you’ve probably experienced the feeling of being stuck at a job you dislike. You want to move on, but you do not know what’s out there and if it will be a better situation or an even worse one.
Getting to know professionals in your field is one way to ease that situation. Having contacts at other companies in your field can open doors that weren’t open to you before. Depending on their status within the company, they could tell you about opportunities before the hiring manager even writes a job description.
Another aspect of this is that they already work there, so they can tell you exactly how the company culture works. It can be a great feeling to walk into a new job already knowing someone.
Having strong contacts that you keep in touch with can have the amazing effect of boosting your confidence. Even if you’re happy where you’re at, just knowing what’s going on in your industry can increase your competence and make you a very knowledgeable person in your office. It’s like having a map of the territory instead of only directions to one or two places. Being able to truly see the lay of the land can give you peace of mind.
Learning a mindset of mutual benefit is a skill that will take you far in life, not just your career. And the confidence that comes from knowing what’s out there will make you more valuable where you’re at.
Are You Networking in Your Career Field?
To further increase your networking, consider working with an ICR recruiter. Networking is their job and you may just learn a thing or two from your next job search.
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