Networking – Just do it!
|Created On: 08 June, 2016||Created By: Amber Travis-Ballinas, Career Coach|
Networking – Just do it! There is so much information and advice written about the purpose and process of networking, however, these networking tips and tricks won’t do you any good, if you don’t get out into the world and consistently network with others face-to-face.
What is ‘networking’? Networking is the process of building mutually beneficial relationships, which support both your personal and professional goals. It is a continuous and systematic approach of reaching out to others, developing a broad list of contacts, and utilizing these relationships to your advantage when you need assistance.
Why network? Statistics show that 80% of employment and new business opportunities are earned through the process of networking.
Where to network? Networking can occur anywhere and everywhere. You should ALWAYS be networking. Be prepared to network at anytime, anyplace, and with everyone. You never know whom you might meet, where you might meet them, what they do, or how they could help you. Be open and take every opportunity to meet new people and to strengthen existing relationships.
To join or not to join? It is not always necessary to join a formal networking group. Networking can occur at informal and non-traditional venues such as youth sporting events, at the grocery store, gym, park, post office, religious organizations, social events, and while volunteering.
Joining a formal networking group is a good idea, as long as you are able to attend meetings and events consistently. Visit different groups before joining to ensure that they are a good fit for you based on the results that you want to achieve, the time and location of meetings, and the cost and the quality of the membership.
How often to network? Determine how much time you can realistically commit to networking activities. Then, determine a weekly or monthly goal for attending networking events, scheduled coffee, lunch, or dinner meetings, and other networking opportunities. Be sure to schedule time for conducting follow-up activities.
Time to network? Schedule the time to network into your calendar, in advance. Treat networking time as an important appointment. Make networking a priority. The time and effort that you invest in networking will pay off in the long run, so get out there, and JUST DO IT!
*This is the first in a series of posts discussing the concept of networking.