We all have been told about the advantages of professional networking. Especially when working in a foreign country and being fluent in many languages, the skill on networking is crucial. But not everyone has taken these lessons to heart. The fact is, not everyone likes the idea of networking.
To some, it comes off as pretentious and manipulative. It can be misinterpreted as the act of using people to climb up the professional ladder and ditching them when you reach the top. That's a pretty wrong notion. This is because, in some sort of way, we are all networking - in our careers and in other aspects of our lives.
As a young professional just commencing with her career, networking didn't come easily to me. The fact that I was an introvert in a job that required meeting people every day didn't help one bit. But I didn't give it much thought. I had put in the work, done the necessary official duties and I thought those should be able to see me through to the top. And yet my career didn't blossom the way I had wanted it to. Only when I started networking with people within and outside my industry did I see the years of hard work beginning to bear fruits.
Networking involves getting to meet and interact with professionals within and outside your industry, exchanging contact and information, and finding ways to help each other. It does not consist of turning every personal relationship into professional ones or converting relationships that could have become quite personal into a purely business affair. On the contrary, networking involves recognizing the idea that we all need each other to achieve our dreams.
It is also only when I had started attending networking events such as conventions, workshops and seminars did I start bringing in new clients for my company. These events are usually filled with professionals who may seek to take their businesses to the next level. In you, they can find the perfect partner.
As a job seeker, the benefits of networking cannot be overemphasized. Recruiters are looking for the best talents to fill in important roles, and your networking skills will here be of importance. Again, as a professional, you may be able to recommend top talents to your company if you find that they would fit in perfectly. Management will appreciate this and your value in the company will soar. Everyone is also better able to work with certain individuals that they might have known outside their company, long before those people start working with or for them.
We have talked about ways that professionals can develop and perfect their soft skills. Networking gives them the chance to put these skills to good use. By networking, you're increasing your confidence level. You are also able to communicate freely and make your voice heard amongst the crowd. It also helps your public speaking, which at the end of the day makes you a thorough-bred professional.
There are careers that require you to be very visible. That way, you're able to build your status and win more clients. Therefore, attend more professional events, get more speaking engagements and other things that increase your visibility. By so doing, your level of credibility will gain grounds and you're the better for it.
Networking can be the best way of learning about the latest trends and developments in your field. Also, invaluable information that can help your organization can also be gleaned by networking. Imagine being the go-to guy in the company when a bidding proposal for a huge government contract is underway because management knows that you have a few contacts that could work things in the company's favour. Your value within the company will grow sporadically.
According to research, some experts say that 70 per cent of people ended up in their current position thanks to networking. Networking can provide you with job opportunities you never thought possible.
In conclusion, you have no reason not to network. No matter the industry you find yourself, networking will prove very vital to your overall professional growth. Use the Zutzu International Job Board to find more networking opportunities with other job seekers and employers alike, and success is guaranteed in your professional career. What benefits have you found of networking and what doors have this opened in your career?
Networking Zutzu Team ZUTZU
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